On Sunday we will gather as a community to honor the life of Tina Fontaine.
We will meet at Olympic plaza for opening prayers and a few speakers. Then we will march together to Reconciliation bridge to make offerings to the water.
“I wanna pass on a message from Thelma. That we have to maintain the peace. She does not want to see any more violence against anyone. She doesn’t want to see retaliation because that’s not what our people are about. She wants peace. She wants healing. She wants justice. And we are going to continue to look for that justice on her behalf.” – Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson
*Blankets for Tina*
Tina Fontaine left this world in August 2014. She was 15 years of age. She was loved by family and friends. Her facebook page still shows how much time she spent with beloved cousins, siblings, friends, and how so many in her family cheered her on as she grew. She was bright, adventurous, funny and, just like many young people with great promise, sometimes cynical about the world around her.
Her Auntie Thelma has said Tina loved to bake, and her room had many teddy bears and a star blanket.
Sadly Canada failed Tina at every turn. After her father was murdered, she struggled a lot. Eventually she left Sagkeeng First Nation for Winnipeg, where she was left on her own in a motel by CFS. It is well known there are people who prey on youth in their darkest moments of desperation. Tina should have been shielded, protected. She was supposedly in “care”.
Tina endured a horrible end wrapped in bedding and discarded in a river. We promise to raise the truth of how this world did her wrong. We pledge to walk forward in the strength of love and sorrow for loss, in celebration of every young Indigenous person. We must be vigilant we must guide our youth while respecting their wisdom.
As an offering of love and support for Tina and her family, the extended community are walking, wrapped in blankets, from a body of water and into the streets. Many teachings feature blankets for soothing, holding and honouring. This gesture is to hold one another and those directly paining from the loss of Tina Fontaine.
If you cannot join a walk, in a show of solidarity, wear a blanket or carry one throughout the day.
Tell Tina’s story when asked about the blanket.