On March 1, citizens will be marching through the streets of Yellowknife in memory of two slain Indigenous youth to ensure the state of affairs that led to their deaths are changed.
Yellowknifers are invited to gather at 12 p.m. outside the old KFC building for a march in memory of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine of Sagkeeng First Nation, found dead in Winnipeg’s Red River in August 2014, and 22-year-old Colten Boushie, whose August 2016 shooting death brought calls for justice reform.
The march comes after a jury found Fontaine’s alleged killer Raymond Cormier, 56, not-guilty after a three-week trial.
Notice of the march was posted on Twitter on Friday by CBC North host Lawrence Nayally.
“There was a lack of care and compassion rendered to Tina Fontaine during her short life on this earth. At almost every turn she was subjected to the systemic discrimination against Indigenous people that permeates our social care systems,” stated Robert Bertrand, national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal of Peoples (CAP), in a news release today.
“The rightful programs and services provisions, in addition to a necessary safety net in place for every child, is a fundamental right for all Indigenous peoples, whether on or off reserve.”
“Tina’s precious life came to an end far away from her home community on the city streets,” said Kim Beaudin, CAP national vice-chief.
“Why can’t I stop crying? Because Tina Fontaine was not only our daughter or relative stolen, defiled, murdered, bound, weighed down with rocks and tossed into a muddy river, she represents all (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls) across Canada,” said NDP MLA Nahanni Fontaine (no relation) in a tweet Thursday. “And if she, as an exemplar victim, can’t get justice, who can?”
“You are invited to March with us in light of the recent verdicts in the cases of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine,” the event description reads. “This March is to remind youth, elders, community members and families that their life is valued and it does matter. It’s also to create awareness of #JusticeForFamilies #LoveForTina #JusticeForColton #IndigenousLivesMatter.”
The March will start at 4919 48 Street and proceed to 52nd and City Hall. Speeches and a smudge and sharing circle will follow.