Media release Racism

Media advisory: Haligonians await verdict in Thunder Bay trial relating to death of Indigenous woman, Monday, December 14, 5 pm, Victoria Park

On December 14, Justice Helen Pierce will deliver her verdict in the criminal trial for the death of Barbara Kentner, a indigenous woman in Thunder Bay.

The case has received national attention. On January 29, 2017, a drunk settler descendant, Brayden Bushby, aged 21 was out joyriding with his friends in that city.

Spotting two walking indigenous women, he threw a trailer hitch weighing 7 to 9 kg, that hit Barbara Kentner, 34, in the abdomen, rupturing her small intestine, requiring surgery and contributing to her death six months later. After throwing the object, Bushby yelled “I got one.”

Bushby pled guilty to a charge of aggravated assault but not guilty to manslaughter. Adding insult to injury, Bushby’s defence is claiming that Kentner was not a well woman and could have died from causes other than the injury.

Kentner’s death shows that the racism highlighted in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls persists, especially in places like Thunder Bay, but across the country. The Nova Scotia attacks against Indigenous fishers exercising their right to a livelihood is also evidence of bigotry.

A group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Halifax will be holding a vigil for Barbara Kentner at Victoria Park in Halifax at 5 pm on December 14. Several local speakers will be featured and we are planning to broadcast a live call with activists in Thunder Bay to discuss the case and the verdict.

**COVID PROTOCOL**

Participants must respect social distancing and wear masks. Mask and hand sanitizer will be available for anyone to take/use. Note that due to the state of emergency, Halifax police are giving out $1000 tickets to people gathered in groups that are not social distancing and wearing masks. It is fine to gather in large numbers (as folks are every night for the city hall light show), but just wear masks and social distance.

For more information, contact Larry Haiven, larry.haiven@smu.ca

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