A life taken too soon

Dear editor,

Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald issued the following statement on sentencing of Brayden Bushby, who was convicted of manslaughter last year in the 2017 death of Barbara Kentner:

Barbara Kentner was described by her sister as ‘As a light in the darkness. A beautiful light. Someone she could count on.’ In 2017, Barbara Ketner’s light was extinguished from this world by a man who cowardly and purposefully threw a metal trailer hitch at her from a moving vehicle in Thunder Bay, Ontario. That man was sentenced yesterday, a sentence which is weak and unjust compared to the crime committed. Barbara had a lot of living to do, a lot of love to give and a lot of loving memories to make with her daughter. At 34 years of age, she could have lived to see her potential grandchildren. The decision from Superior Court Justice Helen Pierce in downgrading Brayden Bushby’s sentence from second-degree murder to manslaughter, thus resulting in eight years to serve, does not seem enough for all the lives that Bushby disrupted.

The justice system in Canada must uphold that Indigenous women’s lives matter and must adequately address how it punishes those who attack Indigenous peoples. The transformation of Canada’s justice system must be accelerated to assure the safety and protection of Indigenous lives by ensuring those who are committing these violent acts, are served with just charges and sentences.

Today, on behalf of the Chiefs in Ontario, I am extending my prayers to the families and friends of Barbara Kenter. We must all work towards a society where all women and Indigenous peoples are safe, protected, and respected.

Ninanaskamon!

Wishing you Peace beyond all understanding,
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald

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