MMIWG: Honouring Tina Fontaine
We commend Manitoba’s Advocate for Children and Youth, Daphne Penrose, for her ti-work and dedication. Her report released on the death of Tina Fontaine sheds new light on a heartbreaking story. Our hearts are with Tina Fontaine’s family, her great-aunt and great-uncle Thelma and Joseph Favel, and everyone in her home community, Sagkeeng First Nation.
We all failed Tina. Tina fell through the cracks of every single system that is supposed to protect vulnerable children and youth. Tina’s death could and should have been prevented. Our Interim Report called for responsive, accountable and culturally ap-propriate child and family services, which we will expand on in our Final Report due by April 30, 2019.
It is a terrible truth that there are thousands more Tina’s across this country. These are our sisters who have disappeared. Every family deserves answers. Tina’s death forced all of us to search more deeply for answers, and re-galvanized calls by many courageous families and survivors for this National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
This tragedy also sparked some incredible grassroots work in the community: like the re-creation of the citizen Bear Clan Patrol and a 24-hour safe space for youth in Winnipeg’s inner city, now named Tina’s Haven. That shows the compassion and resilience that exists in people across this country, and that gives us hope. That is how collectively, we will create lasting change.
We carry Tina’s spirit with us everyday, and honour all the missing and murdered women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people through this important work. Each and every one of our women and girls are sacred.