Tina Fontaine's family receives racist hate mail

A handwritten letter tells Tina Fontaine's great aunt, "You guys are nothing but a bunch of drunken Indians." The letter also says the 15 year old was "following in her father's footsteps, drinking beer, passing out in back alleys."
Thelma Favel, the great-aunt of Tina Fontaine, has mixed feelings about MMIW National Inquiry as pre-inquiry meeting is held in Winnipeg. (CBC)

Tina Fontaine's great aunt got a beautiful card this week adorned with trees, a fence and flowers but she was shocked by the letter inside.

A handwritten letter tells Tina Fontaine's great aunt, "You guys are nothing but a bunch of drunken Indians." The letter also says the 15 year old was "following in her father's footsteps, drinking beer, passing out in back alleys."

"At first I was hurt by it. But after awhile I said, like you know, I'm not going to pay attention to things like this. I'm not going to stoop to their level. I know Tina and I knew Eugene. And that's all that matters," Favel said, adding the letter arrived on Wednesday.

Tina Fontaine's photo in great-aunt, Thelma Favel's home. The 15-year-old girl's body was recovered from the Red River in Winnipeg in August. (CBC)
​ Favel is Fontaine's great-aunt and looked after the teen since she was a toddler. Fontaine's body was pulled from the Red River in August. Her still unsolved murder renewed the call for a National Inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous Women. The community held numerous vigils and rallies in her memory.
Eugene Fontaine, 41, was found beaten to death behind a garden shed in the Sagkeeng First Nation on Oct. 31, 2011. (Family photo)
​ Tina's father, Eugene Fontaine, was beaten to death on Sagkeeng First Nation in 2011.Two men pleaded guilty to manslaughter in October 2014. 

Tina Fontaine's death was recently highlighted in a national magazine that titled Winnipeg as the most racist city in Canada. Favel says she's not sure if that's why she's received this letter now. There is a post mark on the envelope but Favel is unable to tell if the letter came from Winnipeg. But Favel says she's focusing on the letters of support she's received since Tina's death.

"I've got hundreds of them and those are the ones that mean the world to me, the cards of prayer. Right from Nova Scotia to BC, right across Canada."