The acquittal of Raymond Cormier is still fresh in the minds of many who were hoping for justice for Tina Fontaine and there are still a lot of questions on what will happen next.
We put the Raymond Cormier trial and legacy of Tina Fontaine InFocus with Manitoba MLA Bernadette Smith, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Sheila North and advocate and activist Pam Palmater.
Fontaine’s legacy includes the Drag the Red initiative, the re-emergence of the Bear Clan Patrol, changes to Manitoba’s child welfare system and an increased push for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“Literally, if you look at her, she’s everyone’s daughter, cousin, our children. Every time you look at her you think, especially those of us that have children, that could have been one of our children,” said Palmater. “And I think the fact she helped galvanize Indigenous peoples across the country, but not just indigenous people she drew media attention to the crisis.
Grand Chief North says she told Fontaine’s primary caregiver, Thelma Favel, “that I hope that you find comfort in knowing that Tina’s life now is a representation of all of us needing to come together to do more for our communities.
North also echoed what Fontaine’s death meant for the rest of Canada.
“That starts with her life but it expands to what Indigenous people have been saying all these years and it seems like that unfortunately through this little girl that the rest of Canada is starting to pay attention,” she said.