On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.
On a summer day in 2016, a young Indigenous man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The emotionally charged trial and acquittal of Stanley caused shock and outrage across Canada, capturing international attention and raising questions about prejudice within the judicial system, and anti-Indigenous racism in the nation.
Award-winning filmmaker Tasha Hubbard follows the journey of Colten’s family as they search for justice, taking their fight to the highest echelons of power and, ultimately, to the United Nations. Hubbard deftly illustrates how the long history of violence against Indigenous people continues to define life in parts of Canada, and the impact of systems that have been the instruments of colonial domination for centuries. At once urgent and intimate, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up is a profound portrait of a family standing up for a more just and fair society for future generations.
Long Synopsis (295 words)
On a summer day in 2016, a young Indigenous man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The emotionally charged trial and ultimate acquittal of Stanley caused shock and outrage across Canada, shattering the shaky confidence that Colten’s family had placed in the justice system.
Award-winning filmmaker Tasha Hubbard follows the trial and its aftermath, revealing questions about bias that became apparent following the RCMP investigation and jury-selection process. Hubbard traces the long history of violence against Indigenous people, and their erasure from the systems of law and power, to the present day, exposing the need for systemic changes.
Emerging from the tragedy are the powerful and resilient voices of Colten’s family and community, who stand up for a better future for the next generations. Taking strength in the memory of their beloved son, brother and cousin, the family embarks on a search for justice that brings them to the country’s highest echelons of power, and ultimately to the United Nations, where they challenge Canada’s justice system in front of the international community.
Hubbard, whose previous films with the National Film Board of Canada have delved into forced Indigenous family separations during the Sixties Scoop (Birth of a Family) and the alleged involvement of Saskatoon police in the infamous freezing deaths of Indigenous men (Two Worlds Colliding), steps in front of the camera for the first time in a desire to highlight the personal toll the case has taken on the lives of Indigenous people. nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.
Written and Directed by
Director of Photography
Artistic Imagery Productions
Courtroom Sketches Courtesy of
Digital Animation and Compositing
Even Steven Inc.
Solis Animation Inc.
Bizable Media Inc.
Cree Language Consultants
Hot Docs Doc Accelerator Fellow
Katja De Bock
Audio Post Production
Cosmic Pad Studios
Audio Post Coordinator
Sound Editor & Re-Recording Mixer
Foley & FX
Online Video Post Production
Java Post Production
Java Post Coordinator
For the NFB:
Studio Operations Manager
Head of Business Affairs
Executive Director, English Program
Michelle Van Beusekom
For the CBC:
General Manager, Programming
Executive Director, Unscripted Content
Senior Director, Documentary
Senior Director of Production, Unscripted Content
Executive in Charge of Production
Produced in association with
Representatives for APTN
Jean La Rose
Chief Executive Officer
Executive Director of Programming & Scheduling
Archival Images Courtesy of
Glenbow Archives Saskatoon Public Library
Archival Footage Courtesy of APTN
CBC Archive Sales
The United Nations
Rally Footage Courtesy of
The views in this film are not those of the United Nations.
Prayer Written and Performed by Burnstick
Dancing in the Sky
Written by Danielle Nelson, Elizabeth Nelson and Jason Traub
Poundmaker Drum Group
Young Thunder Drum Group
University of Alberta
University of Saskatchewan
Produced with the participation of
Production made possible through the Feature Film Production Grant Program
Produced with the participation of
through the Theatrical Documentary Program
Produced with the assistance of the
nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up
A Downstream Documentary Productions Inc. and National Film Board of Canada co-production
© 2019 Downstream Documentary Productions Inc. and the National Film Board of Canada