AFN National Chief – Legal System Continues to Fail First Nations

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AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde speaking at the 2018 Nishnawbe Aski Nation Winter Chiefs Assembly in Thunder Bay Ontario
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde speaking at the 2018 Nishnawbe Aski Nation Winter Chiefs Assembly in Thunder Bay Ontario

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde speaking at the 2018 Nishnawbe Aski Nation Winter Chiefs Assembly in Thunder Bay Ontario
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde speaking at the 2018 Nishnawbe Aski Nation Winter Chiefs Assembly in Thunder Bay Ontario

No Appeal Planned in Tina Fontaine Homicide Case

OTTAWA – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde responded to the announcement today by Crown prosecutors in Manitoba that they will not appeal the verdict in the case of Raymond Cormier, acquitted last month in the death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine.

“The legal system continues to fail First Nations and we have growing concerns about the safety and security of our children, our families, and our loved ones,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “Regardless of legal procedures and tactics, we know for a fact that a young girl had her life brutally taken from her and a killer roams free. There is no justice here. This is why we want a full review of the legal system, from policing right through to the courts, to create an approach that truly delivers justice for our people. It should be increasingly clear to everyone why so many First Nations don’t trust the legal system.”

In February, a jury found Raymond Cormier not guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the death of Tina Fontaine, whose body was found on August 17, 2014. The death shocked the country and led to calls for justice and for a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.