Murder charge and inquiry are small steps for the indigenous population
It’s fitting that an arrest in the murder of Tina Fontaine occurred the same week the federal government launched the initial phase of a national inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women. The two are inextricably linked.
While there were calls for such a commission in the past, it was the grim, senseless death of the quiet 15-year-old First Nation teenager from Manitoba that jolted us from our national apathy toward the plight of aboriginal women and made the issue a political prerogative.
While there is still a trial to take place, the arrest of 53-year-old Raymond Cormier on second-degree murder charges comes as some relief to Tina’s family, which has struggled to come to terms with what happened to the girl 16 months ago. While a conviction would allow the family to let go of anger and worry that was an inevitable extension of living with the knowledge Tina’s killer was still on the loose, it will never completely heal from this tragedy.