Fontaine’s death renews need for Aboriginal inquiry

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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The racial divide is obvious in America. After the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. chaos has since then stolen the airways around the world.

What seemingly hasn’t, especially in Canada, is the slaying of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine.

Winnipeg police pulled Fontaine’s body out of the Red River 10 days after Brown’s death.

She was in a plastic bag, possibly sexually abused and killed prior to entering the river.

Police divers weren’t even looking for her at the time they discovered her body.

Fontaine was a child that died. That is a terrible tragedy.

The fact that she was an Aboriginal woman should speak volumes.

There were over 1,000 people that gathered in Winnipeg after Fontaine’s body was found and they called once again for a public inquiry.

Apparently the death of a 15-year-old still isn’t enough for Stephen Harper and the Conservative government to launch an inquiry into the high number of Aboriginal women deaths.

In May, the RCMP issued a detailed statistical breakdown of 1,181 cases since 1980.

That report stated that aboriginal women make up 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population, but account for 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women.

Manitoba has the highest percent of aboriginal people per capita at 16.7 per cent and Saskatchewan is right behind at 15.6 per cent. All other province per capita are less than eight per cent.

On Tuesday, Premier Brad Wall backed the need for a public inquiry in to the missing and murdered women.

“I don’t know how long you ignore those kinds of things at any particular level of government before you want to ask every single question that you can possibly ask to make sure that is doesn’t happen again,” Wall said in a scrum in P.E.I.

There have been many organizations, including the United Nations that have publicly stated the need for an investigation.

How many more Aboriginal women have to be brutally murdered before the federal government steps up and responds.

The racial divide may be more pronounced in the United States, but we can’t be blind to what is happening to Canadians.

Fontaine shouldn’t just be a statistic. She and her family deserve answers.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: RCMP, United Nations

Geographic location: Winnipeg, Canada, Red River Manitoba Saskatchewan United States

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