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Dean Glen Jones responds to the case of Colten Boushie

February 12, 2018


Photograph: Facebook

On behalf of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) community, I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Colten Boushie, to the Red Pheasant First Nation, and to the broader Indigenous communities, including those at OISE. We are deeply saddened that the court decision has once again raised serious questions of whether Indigenous peoples can receive justice within the current legal system.

We are also saddened because this is far from a new issue or an isolated incident. There is much to learn from Ontario's response to the Iacobucci Report that called for major reforms to our justice system. More recently, there are 17 Calls to Action focusing on legal matters clearly articulated within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report (TRC). These "actions" cannot be ignored in the face of regular news reports of murdered and missing Indigenous women, or in the face of the coroner's recommendations concerning the deaths of seven high school students in Thunder Bay. One story should be enough to spark real change, but there are countless horrendous stories about real people, real families, and real communities.

We believe that the TRC’s commissioner, Senator Murray Sinclair, was right when he noted that it was education that generated the horrific consequences of residential schools, and it is education that can move us forward. Naturally, as educators, we must contribute accordingly through our research, graduate programs, and evidence-based advocacy. Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is essential to our future as a nation. Dealing honestly with the truths of these recurring challenges, however uncomfortable, must come first if genuine healing is to follow. 


Glen A. Jones
Professor and Dean
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
University of Toronto