August 20, 2014
(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Ghislain Picard today offered condolences to the family, friends and community of Tina Fontaine, and further demanded immediate action to better ensure the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
“It is with the utmost respect and sympathy that I offer condolences to the family of Tina Fontaine on behalf of the entire AFN national executive committee,” said AFN National Chief Ghislain Picard. “We cannot allow violence to continue, particularly against some of the most vulnerable. First Nations demand immediate and concrete steps to better ensure the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls in this country. In addition to a National Commission of Inquiry into the unresolved cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women, this means equitable support for the care of our children, shelters, wellness and prevention initiatives.”
Fifteen-year-old Tina Fontaine was found dead in the Red River in Winnipeg, MB Sunday after being reported missing August 9. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477. A vigil was held in her honour August 19 at the Alexander Docks in Winnipeg. The vigil also marked the passing of Faron Hall, a homeless man who showed true bravery, courage and selflessness in saving two people from drowning in the Red River and trying to rescue a third.
“We encourage Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to show their support to the family of Tina Fontaine and Faron Hall at the vigil in Winnipeg this evening, and to join the effort to address the root causes that place too many of our people in jeopardy,” said AFN Regional Chief Cameron Alexis. “We encourage everyone to end violence against First Nations women by signing a petition to urge a National Public Commission of Inquiry and by committing oneself to live free of violence. Surely First Nations and all Canadians can agree that more must be done to keep our people safe and, wherever possible, off the streets. We must see a commitment to take immediate action and address the root causes.”
The Assembly of First Nations, First Nations organizations and many individuals and organizations across the country are calling for action and a national inquiry to address the more than 1,100 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. To join the effort to end violence or to learn more about what’s required visit http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en/policy-areas/i-pledge.-end-violence.
The Assembly of First Nation is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow the #AFNAGA on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates
For more information please contact:
Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext. 401; 613-314-8157 or email@example.com