NAN Welcomes Guilty Verdict in Bushby Trial

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler has issued the following statement on today’s verdict finding Brayden Bushby guilty of manslaughter in the death of Barbara Kentner:

“We welcome today’s verdict and stand with Barbara’s sisters, their families, and the community of Wabigoon Lake Ojibway First Nation as they receive this news. It is encouraging that Justice Pierce rejected the victim-blaming presented by the defence and saw this case for what it was – a deliberate act with a foreseeable outcome.

This case is a stark reminder of the systemic racism and violence perpetrated against Indigenous Peoples in Thunder Bay and across this country. Many recent acts of violence are raising fear that Indigenous lives are held at lesser value, and that the normalization of anti-Indigenous racism sees victims held responsible for their own deaths.

The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls found that Canada’s staggering rates of violence against our women is the result of persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses. All leaders and institutions nation-wide must wake up to this reality.

Many recommendations have been made to prevent this violence, but far too little action has been taken. We stand today in solidarity with Barbara’s family and all those who seek to end systemic racism and support equality and justice.”

Barbara Kentner, 34, died on July 4, 2017, five months after being struck by a trailer hitch thrown by the accused from a moving car while she was walking with her sister on a residential street. In delivering her decision, Justice Helen Pierce stated that Bushby’s actions were a ‘contributing cause’ of Kentner’s death, were ‘objectively dangerous’, and that injury to Kentner was ‘foreseeable’.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for February 9, 2021.

For more information please contact:
Michael Heintzman,
Director of Communications
Cell: (807) 621-2790
mheintzman@nan.ca