THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Acting Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum has issued the following statement regarding today’s not-guilty verdict in the second-degree murder trial of Raymond Cormier in the death of Tina Fontaine:
“It is very disturbing that just weeks after the acquittal in the Colten Boushie murder trial the death of another Indigenous youth has gone unexplained and no one is held accountable. Our hearts and prayers are with Tina Fontaine’s family and friends and all of the leaders who supported the family during these very difficult proceedings. This is a very discouraging outcome and sends a message that there are no consequences to killing Indigenous youth. The recent acquittal in the Colten Boushie case showed how the legal system continues to fail First Nations and exposed systemic racism in the justice system. The tragic death of Tina Fontaine also shows the failure in the child welfare system. Many of these issues are well documented, and we will continue to support the families and leaders who are demanding accountability and change.”
The body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine was found in the Red River in Winnipeg on August 17, 2014.
A jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Boushie on February 9, 2018. The 22-year-old from Red Pheasant First Nation died of a gunshot wound to the head on Stanley’s farm near Biggar, Saskatchewan, in August 2016.