“You thought it was over but it’s just like before
Will there never be an end to the Indian wars?” –lyrics from Bruce Cockburn’s song, Indian Wars
“She was wrapped in bedding and discarded in a river. We promise to raise the truth of how this world did her wrong.” – one of the recent statements from Tina Fontaine’s grieving friends and family
A Call-Out to All of Us in the Region to Join this Show of Solidary at the Table Rock in Niagara Falls from members of the Indigenous community and Niagara’s Anti-Racism Coalition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Members of the Indigenous community of Niagara invite all residents of region to join them in remembering Tina Fontaine and her story at noon on March 4, 2018.
Tina left this world in August 2014. She was 15 years of age. She was loved by family and friends. Her Facebook page still shows how much time she spent with beloved cousins, siblings, friends, and how so many in her family cheered her on as she grew.
She was bright, adventurous, funny, and, just like many young people with great promise, sometimes cynical about the world around her.
Her Auntie Thelma has said Tina loved to bake, and her room had many teddy bears and a star blanket.
Raymond Cormier, who was charged with second degree murder, was acquitted of the crime on February 22, 2018.
Canada failed Tina at every turn.
After her father was murdered, she struggled a lot. Eventually she left Sagkeeng First Nation for Winnipeg, where she was left on her own in a motel by Children and Family Services. It is well known there are people who prey on youth in their darkest moments of desperation. Tina should have been shielded, protected. She was supposedly in “care”.
Tina endured a horrible end. She was wrapped in bedding and discarded in a river. We promise to raise the truth of how this world did her wrong. We pledge to walk forward in the strength of love and sorrow for loss, in celebration of every young Indigenous person. We must be vigilant we must guide our youth while respecting their wisdom.
As an offering of love and support for Tina and her family, Indigenous communities across Canada are being joined by non-Indigenous supporters and allies in a blanket walk. We are walking, wrapped in blankets, from a body of water and into the streets. Many teachings feature blankets for soothing, holding and honouring. This gesture is to hold one another and those directly paining from the loss of Tina Fontaine.
This show of solidarity in Niagara will begin at the Table Rock in Niagara Falls, Ontario on Sunday March 4 at noon. Participants are asked to bring drums, a blanket(s), tobacco and offering for the water and spirit of the action.
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