Accused in death of Winnipeg teenage girl not guilty of murder

Raymond Cormier's second-degree murder trial has heard that the cause of the girl's death could not be determined

NDP status of women and families critic Nahanni Fontaine, right, consoles Thelma Favel after making an emotional speech.

"All of us should be ashamed".

For more details, see the CBC article here. "He's not a saint but you've got to look at the evidence", Kavanagh said. She got killed, I'll make you a bet.

On Thursday, a jury found Tina's accused killer, Raymond Cormier, not guilty of second-degree murder.

In a joint statement, The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), and the Assembly of First Nations Manitoba Regional Chief's Office (AFN MB RCO) were united in what they called "extreme disappointment" with the verdict.

"She doesn't want to see any retaliation", North said.

"We all feel it too because it could have been our daughter, it could have been our granddaughter".

"We are continually marginalized. We want it to stop". Her body was discovered in the Red River.

The verdict came about two weeks after an all-white jury acquitted a Saskatchewan farmer in the shooting death of an indigenous man on his property.

- Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, in a statement. We need to correct that.

Zoey Travese, 10, of Shoal Lake First Nation, attended the march with her mother and family.

A peaceful crowd wound through Winnipeg Friday in memory of Tina Fontaine, a day after the man accused in her killing was found not guilty. His last words to her, he said, were "go jump off a bridge".

Thelma Favel, Tina Fontaine's great-aunt, gathered supporters at the Law Courts building in Winnipeg, ahead of a peaceful procession calling for change. That case has sparked calls for reforms of Canada's justice system.

Indigenous peoples have never agreed to have someone else decide what justice is for us. We will encourage and foster the ability of young Indigenous boys and girls, and men and women to pursue their goals in education and in the workplace. "Proud to be here..."

"This is a hard and tremendously sad day for our people", she said. It isn't just a child-welfare system that is broken and places children in unsafe environments.

A memorial to murdered Sagkeeng First Nation teen Tina Fontaine, whose body was pulled from the Red River, wrapped in a bag, on Sunday August 17. It isn't just a police system that fails to protect the vulnerable.

The Crown's case against Cormier, who had known Fontaine for a period time of time before she was found dead, was largely circumstantial.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said his thoughts were with the Fontaine family in a release on Thursday evening.

"All Canadians are invited to this walk today, all members of our community because the situation that put Tina into this is on all of us", walk co-organizer Niigaan Sinclair said.

Indigenous people, who make up 5% of Canada's population, have higher levels of poverty and a lower life expectancy than other Canadians, and are more often victims of violent crime, according to government data.

"I just felt sick, I felt disgusted to be part of that system, but coming here today, representing Bear Clan, being a part of the community, being a part of this family, I feel proud", he said. It starts: "I'm sorry I failed you".

Leah Gazan, a social justice advocate and Indigenous studies instructor at the University of Winnipeg, said she was in Toronto when she heard the verdict and broke into tears.

North points out that almost three decades after the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, a Manitoba examination of the treatment of Indigenous people in the justice system, numerous recommendations haven't been implemented.

"Our kids are not disposable". Indigenous laws are living within Indigenous nations, all across Canada, and must be revitalized further so that injustice can not continue to take lives.

Gazan believes reconciliation is a long way off "in the absence of justice".

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