Honourable Judge Wiebe sets inquest scope to examine whether structural racism played role in death of Eishia Hudson

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The family of Eishia Hudson, who was 16 years old at the time of her fatal shooting by the Winnipeg Police Service, is pleased with the Honourable Judge Margaret Wiebe’s decision on scope dated May 21, 2024 and made public this past Friday.

In a hearing before the Court regarding scope on March 7, 2024, the family of Eishia submitted the Inquest should examine whether Indigenous-specific racism, either structural or direct, played any role in the circumstances that led to Eishia’s death. More specifically, the family took the position that the Inquest should determine whether the necessity and level of use of force was informed by Eishia Hudson’s Indigenous identity.

In her decision on scope, the Honourable Judge Wiebe wrote, “Eishia was identified as an Indigenous person during the incident with WPS on the day of her death. What effect or influence, if any, this had on the decisions and actions of the WPS will form part of the factual matrix of this case.”

Her Honour further ruled that this case calls for “an independent examination of the issue by an independent person with expertise in the subject of structural racism/discrimination and if possible, an expert who can speak specifically to the interactions between Indigenous persons and police.”

“We are relieved by this decision from the Court,” said William Hudson, father of Eishia, who continues to advocate for justice on behalf of families who have lost loved ones to police violence. “We can no longer ignore the issue of race and how it impacts the treatment of Indigenous people by police. We are hopeful now this this Inquest will provide answers.”

The family acknowledges that while the scope is set to look at the contextual factors such as systemic racism, the Inquest is limited to only examining the circumstances of the individual death of Eishia. “We stand in solidarity with families like ours,” said Hudson, speaking to the tragic instances of Indigenous people who died as a result of police violence. “We urge this Province to call a public inquiry into the disproportionate number of police-related deaths of Indigenous people in Manitoba.”

Dates for the Inquest hearing have not been set, however the parties to the Inquest are looking to 2025. Reflecting on the long wait, the family recognizes the challenges faced by the Court with delays and limited resources, as well as the complex issues to be examined and the number of parties involved. “We want justice for Eishia,” said Hudson. “No stone can be left unturned – this will take great care and time.”

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

Danielle Morrison, Co-Counsel for the Hudson family
Phone: (204) 594-3510

2024 06 03 Media Release Eishia Hudson Inquest Scope Decision [PDF Release]