Colten Boushie

Taqralik Partridge
February 14, 2018

Editor’s Note: Colten Boushie was a 22-year-old Indigenous man from Red Pheasant Cree Nation, Treaty Six Territory, in the place we now call Canada. On August 9, 2016, Colten was shot in the back of the head and killed by white farmer Gerald Stanley. On February 9, 2018, an all-white judge and jury acquitted Gerald Stanley of second degree murder in the killing of Colten. The verdict has served to amplify inequities in Canada’s justice system, as well as this nation’s deep rooted racism against Indigenous people of this land. ArtsEverywhere stands in love and solidarity with everyone across this land feeling pain, rage, sadness, and grief in the shadow of this verdict, in particular Colten’s family, friends and community.


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Taqralik Partridge

even the ones who are never sure about anything
even the ones who are super quiet
even the consultants
even the academics
even the ones with six figure salaries
even the poorest ones
even the single mothers – especially the single mothers
even the ones who ‘normally don’t like to get involved’
even the ones who thought they had turned their backs
even the guys who say insulting things and the women in their lives are never sure if they should turn their backs
even the ones who were stolen from their mothers – especially the ones who were stolen from their mothers
even the lawyers
even the doctors
even the government workers
even the ones who agreed that ‘it’s just a costume’
even the ones who say ‘it’s just a sports team’
even the ones who insist ‘everyone should just calm down’
even the ones who prefer to look on the bright side
even the ones who always see the downside
even the ones who know they will lose friends, lose family
even the ones who have lost family – especially the ones who have lost family
even the dancers
even the poets
even the politicians
even the ones who live far up north
even the ones who say ‘nobody owes you anything’
even the ones who were traveling when they found out
even the ones who were on stage
even the ones on their honeymoon
even the ones with the flu
even the ones with mostly white friends
even the ones with no children
even the ones who are very young
even his sisters in Standing Rock
even a DJ from Greenland
even Martin Luther King junior’s daughter
even the ones who send money to tv preachers
even the ones who are just clinging to their own lives – especially the ones who are just clinging to their own lives
even the ones who couldn’t bring themselves to say anything about Barbara, or Cindy, or Loretta, or Tina, or Savanna, or Anna Mae, or Annie, or Lucy, or Mary Papatsie
even the radio personalities
even the reporters
even the ones who think that nobody listens
even the ones who are just trying to be ‘regular Canadians’
even the museum curators
even the hunters
even the single mothers – especially the single mothers
even the singers
even the seamstresses
even the ‘recently retired and tired of it all’ ones
even the ones who only recently found their connection
even the ones whose only connection to any of this is their partner, or their child, or neighbour, or co-worker, or simple recognition of common humanity
even the ones who can only shake their heads
even the ones who can only wring their hands
even the ones who just can’t

all of them, all of them
everyone
drew back their heads, wide-eyed,
in pain,
and in fear,
and in dismay
and in anger
but not
no, not
in disbelief
because what is known, does not require believing or not believing


To learn more about Colten Boushie’s killing and the trial of Gerald Stanley, and how to combat anti-Indigenous racism, please visit this discussion guide created by contributors to the Idle No More website.

Taqralik Partridge

Taqralik Partridge

Taqralik Partridge is a writer and performance poet originally from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, and currently living in Kautokeino, northern Norway.

4 thoughts on “Colten Boushie

  1. Profound, poignant, painful … Thank you Tagralik Partridge, and artseverywhere.ca …

    & may I share the audiolink — & the text of your poem to my MCK FB Timeline page?Another FBF brought it (the link) to his FBFs’ attention (including mine) … It would be wonderful to be able to post the words of your poem as well as your audiolink of it on my FB Timeline page, with your brief bio, Tagralik, also your , & Editor’s Notes (before & after, re Idle No More discussion guide et al), if you’re amenable … Merci for your consideration … ;0)

    Respectfully,

    MCK.

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