Saskatoon writers’ group pens concerns about racism in Saskatchewan – Saskatoon

A writers’ group formed in response to provincial budget cuts in March turned its focus to racism on Saturday by penning letters to coincide with the anniversary of the Colten Boushie shooting.

The Democratic Writes! group was created by members of The Stand Community Organizing Centre in Saskatoon as a shared space to express concerns through writing on a different topic each week.

This week the group chose the issue of racism in Saskatchewan, asking participants what conversations the province should be having one year after the shooting death of Colten Boushie.

On Aug. 9, 2016, Boushie, 22, was shot and killed on a farm near Biggar, Sask. Police charged Gerald Stanley with second-degree murder in Boushie’s death. 

Bonnie Heilman, an organizer of the Democratic Writes! group, says the group wants to keep the issue of racism in Saskatchewan in the public consciousness. (Albert Couillard/CBC)

Stanley, who is out on bail, pleaded not guilty. His trial will take place Jan. 29 to Feb. 15, 2018.

Following Boushie’s death, anti-Indigenous online commentary brought national attention to the case and prompted Premier Brad Wall to call for calm.

‘This matters to people’

Democratic Writes! organizer Bonnie Heilman, who is a board member with The Stand, said she feels racism is very present in Saskatchewan.

“We wanted to contribute to keeping the issue of racism in our province in the public consciousness, just, you know, putting our voices in there for what it’s worth,” she said.

“That this matters to people and that we have to do something about it.” 

When the writers’ group met on Saturday, Heilman chose to address her letter to a journalist who expressed a controversial opinion on racism in Saskatchewan.

Marjorie Keyser said she attends the group meeting every Saturday because she believes in democracy and the need to hold politicians accountable. (Albert Couillard/CBC)

Participants write to politicians, journalists

She was joined…

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