Press Release

NWAC Faults Broken Systems With Lack Of Justice For Tina Fontaine

February 23, 2018

OTTAWA, ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada is disheartened upon hearing the verdict in the Raymond Cormier murder trial. Injustice has again been imposed on Tina Fontaine, her family and Indigenous people. We are disillusioned that the social and justice systems that are supposed to protect children are doing exactly the opposite.

When will action be taken to change a justice system that is defective and unjust for Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people? NWAC President Francyne Joe stated, “The inequities, pain and helplessness caused by broken systems that Tina faced throughout her life are unimaginable for most. Sadly, these same experiences have become normalized for Indigenous people.” She added, “The guilty or not guilty verdict does not change the fact that another Indigenous child was mishandled by the system and became the victim of a violent crime. As the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls visits Rankin Inlet this week, we are reminded of the importance of the Inquiry and the work that must be done to save lives.”

The Indigenous youth of our Nations are witnessing the tragic cases of victimization and marginalization of Indigenous women. If Indigenous youth are to have a just future, the systems must change and the violence against Indigenous women must end. Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people are sacred and the devastating outcomes of their lives are much more than social or justice system statistics! President Francyne Joe added, “The time for “wanting” to find solutions has long passed. Indigenous people can no longer be marginalized and immediate action is critical.”

For the youth of our Indigenous Nations: we ask that you hear our important message for you. You are the most precious gift to your family and to the world. Hear our hearts and know that you are loved, important, equal, cherished, admired, respected, beautiful, valued and resilient. Know that you have unlimited power to follow your dreams. Now more than ever, the country and the world need you to be true to who you are and be true to your spirit. Do not let the actions of a few take away the pride you have for your culture and who you are. You are the future. Be proud of who you are, dream big, and believe in yourself.

Our love is with Tina Fontaine’s family and the countless Indigenous families that continue to suffer in silence. Together, we join hearts across the Nations to honour the family and the legacy of Tina Fontaine. NWAC will continue our advocacy work with families and survivors of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two Spirit individuals in order to demand that stories like Tina Fontaine’s are not repeated.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) was founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women. NWAC is an aggregate of thirteen Native women’s organizations from across Canada and was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1974.


Lynne Groulx – Executive Director

613-722-3033 X223


Joël Lamoureux – Media Relations Officer

613-722-3033 X100

Cell 343-997- 1354

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