KAIROS stands with young Indigenous people

Tina Fontaine

On February 23, the day after a jury in Winnipeg returned a not guilty verdict in the death of Tina Fontaine, people across the country are wrapping themselves in blankets in a powerful , poignant and public expression of care for Tina Fontaine – the kind of care Canada repeatedly failed to provide.

Tina was not born a victim.  Those close to her confirm she was a bright and funny child, with friends and family who loved her, and like all young people, with promise.

After her father was murdered, Tina struggled. She left the Sagkeeng First Nation for Winnipeg, ended up in “care”, and was placed in a downtown hotel.  Here, the systems set up to help and protect children and families failed her over and over again —child welfare, health care, law enforcement and, ultimately, the legal system.  Racism, sexism, and Canada’s failure to protect and provide proper care all contributed to her devastating death at 15.

It is not hard to understand why young Indigenous people and young Indigenous leaders in Canada risk losing hope.  And yet, incredibly and encouragingly, we see so many young leaders working against all odds for a transformed, more fair and just future.

KAIROS reaffirms its commitment to stand with Indigenous young people across this country, to celebrate their varied and powerful contributions, to listen to their ideas and solutions, to fight harder against the racism, sexism and all the injustice that continues to harm them, and to do better—so much better—than Canada did for Tina. KAIROS sends its deepest condolences to Tina’s family and community and all who loved her.

Filed in: Indigenous Rights

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