U of R Press Reflects on the Justice System, Racism in Canada, and the Duty to Respond
REGINA, Feb. 23, 2018 -- "How Books Happen," the official podcast of University of Regina Press (URP), which usually covers the joys and challenges of making books, instead takes a stand in a very special episode launched today.
For a small work unit of less than a dozen people, URP is a remarkably diverse group -- men and women, young and more mature, gay and straight, the children of immigrant families, city kids, along with third generation farm kids and, of course Indigenous and non-Indigenous folks.
And our unity has been strengthened recently by their strong reaction to the Gerald Stanley case.
The staff of URP, like many Canadians coast to coast to coast, are angered and upset by the acquittal of Gerald Stanley in connection with young Indigenous man Colten Boushie's death.
We responded to those emotions by agreeing to participate in a special podcast, hosted and co-produced by First Nations University student and URP intern Jamin Mike.
As you'll hear in this podcast, powerful emotions were shared with Jamin, like the reaction he gathered from Wendy Whitebear, URP's business manager, originally from the White Bear First Nation near Carlyle, SK.
Here's is Wendy's visceral reaction to the Stanley verdict, which makes up part of this podcast: "We didn't ask for that hate. Simply by being born we are hated. I've said it many times, I don't want my grandchildren go have to through what I went through growing up, that hate and racism and violence perpetrated on us simply because we exist."
Other non-Indigenous staff share equally strong views, but as listeners will hear, there is also a sense of hope and a desire for a way forward.
After observing developments since the verdict came down, marketing manager Morgan Tunzelmann told Jamin, "I think the biggest difference that I see is that people not only within Saskatchewan or in the activist community are now starting to share on social media and post about it…. I really do feel if there is any hope of remediation or appeal, or hope for the Boushie family, it's going to come from national pressure rather than pressure within the province."
With yesterday’s acquittal of Raymond Cormier in the Tina Fontaine case leaving many people equally troubled, these pressures are only set to intensify.
For all this and more stream the latest "How Books Happen" through your favourite podcast app.
Looking for a way to help? Visit the Go Fund Me page to support Colten Boushie's family, check out this discussion guide from IdleNoMore, and step in to challenge those around you who espouse racist, stereotypical views.