SACPA Special Session - Did the Accused Killers of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine Benefit from the Current Practice of Jury Selection?

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The Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA) presents a special session with lawyer Ingrid Hess as she discusses the Canadian justice system and its troubled relationship with Indigenous people.

Did the Accused Killers of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine Benefit from the Current Practice of Jury Selection?

Date:                    Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Time:                   11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. buffet lunch, 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. presentation, 1 – 1:30 p.m. Q & A
Location:             Royal Canadian Legion (north door) 324 Mayor Magrath Dr S
Cost:                    $14 buffet lunch with desert & coffee/tea/juice or $2 coffee/tea/juice. RSVP not required

Canada’s justice system is working poorly for Indigenous people. Not-guilty verdicts arrived at recently in two separate murder cases involving First Nations victims, Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie, have arguably yet again exposed Canada’s justice system as failing Indigenous people.

Indigenous people have been murdered or gone missing for a long time without due diligence from law enforcement and only now are we starting to expose these patterns of neglect in a meaningful way. Still, if you are an Indigenous person in Canada today, chances are you will have difficulty receiving justice.

The speaker will explain Canada’s jury selection system and argue that it needs a serious overhaul. She will also contend that unless we come to terms with the staggering amount of racism that still exists in our institutions, and in our society as a whole towards Indigenous people in Canada, not much will change.

Speaker:               Ingrid Hess

Ingrid Hess is a lawyer from Lethbridge who has been practicing for over 21 years.  For the majority of her career she has focussed on criminal defence work, representing clients on all kinds of criminal and quasi-criminal charges in the Provincial Court, Court of Queen's Bench and Court of Appeal of Alberta, including a number of serious jury trials.  She has worked extensively with clients of Indigenous background.  Some of her important court cases have been cited in academic work pertaining to the treatment of individuals with FASD in the legal system.

In 2010, she was drawn into working on the Residential Schools Independent Assessment Process for compensation for serious physical and sexual abuse.  In that capacity she has worked on over 300 individual claims from BC through to Ontario and across the North, acquiring a very personal but also broad understanding of the historical and cultural circumstances of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

Ms. Hess lives in Lethbridge and is mother to three young men. Her eldest son is a member of the Big Stone Cree Nation and her younger two are both Blood Tribe members.

Moderator:         Kristin Krein

For more information on the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs, visit the SACPA website.


Trevor Kenney | | 403-329-2710 |