Group shares grief and anger after acquittal in teen’s death
A large group gathered at Olympic Plaza on Sunday to mourn Tina Fontaine and demand justice.
Many of the attendees were wrapped in blankets to warm and comfort themselves, but also as a symbol of Tina’s suffering. The 15-year-old’s body was found wrapped in bedding and weighed down with rocks in the Red River in Winnipeg four days after she was reported missing in August of 2014. She had left her home on the Sagkeeng First Nation and spent time on the streets of Winnipeg where she was sexually exploited.
56-year-old Raymond Cormier was charged with second-degree murder a year after her death. The Crown argued that Cormier admitted to the killing on secret police recordings, but the jury decided that there was no proof that was beyond a reasonable doubt.
Now rallies like this are being held across the country by those who say racism has distorted justice in the country.
“It's important to raise awareness to the mishandling of the justice system really, in the name of indigenous people,” said Drezus Jeremiah Manitopyes, who marched in the rally.
Two weeks ago, it was the steps across from Olympic Plaza that were filled with people, that time for Colten Boushie and a racially charged trial that ended in acquittal.
“It's sad that we're standing here in this time, 2018, there's so much tragedy and loss amongst our families,” said Karen English.
“We are asking all Canadians to take action to support our people and to bring our people up, raise our people up to the same level and standard that all Canadians should be at,” said Autumn Eaglespeaker.
Other rallies for Tina Fontaine were held in Winnipeg, Regina and Montreal.