Regina round dance stops traffic in protest of acquittal in Tina Fontaine case

At least 100 activists took to the streets of Regina to stand up on behalf of Tina Fontaine.

'We’re screaming for help. Are you listening?' spoken word poet asks

A round dance was held in downtown Regina on Saturday afternoon in honour of Tine Fontaine. (CBC)

At least 100 activists took to the streets of Regina to stand up on behalf of Tina Fontaine.

This week, a Winnipeg jury found Raymond Cormier not guilty of murdering Fontaine, who was pulled from the Red River in August 2014. She was 15 years old.  

"Didn't we just do this?" one speaker asked as she addressed the crowd in front of Regina's Court of Queen's Bench prior to the round dance on Saturday.
Participants held up brightly coloured signs saying 'Tina mattered' and 'Don't take my sissy.' (CBC)

Two weeks ago, a jury in Battleford, Sask., found Gerald Stanley not guilty of murdering 22-year-old Colten Boushie who died by gunshot on Stanley's farm in 2016.

Fontaine and Boushie were both Indigenous.

Tai Cook, 18, also stood in front of the large group of supporters to recite a spoken word poem she said she wrote in anger over two years ago.

"I'm watching my people go missing. I'm watching my people get murdered. We're screaming for help. Are you listening?" she asked, the emotion apparent in her eyes.

Later, she reflected on the piece.
Spoken word poet Tai Cook tackled the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous people through a piece she recited on Saturday. (CBC)

"It's disappointing how relevant that is today, how much that speaks for what is happening right now," she said. "I know that will still be relevant when I'm 80 years old."

Cook said both of the recent verdicts inspired her to speak up.

"If I were to go missing, if I were to get murdered, I know for a fact that nothing would be done about it. I would just be another statistic. I would just be another picture to add to the list and I want to change that," she said. "I want justice for all missing and murdered women, all missing and murdered Indigenous men.

"This can't happen anymore."
People of all ages showed up to the round dance including this group, preparing for a drum circle. (CBC)

Shelley Fayant, a First Nations mother from Regina, said she wasn't surprised at all when she found out Cormier was found not guilty.

"I expected it," she said.

"My hope and wish as a mother when I had my family was that I could raise my kids in a world that was a little more gentler and kinder than it was for me growing up here and it's not. I'm outraged," she said. "I'm here to show my support for Tina and Colten and every other indigenous person that has been failed by every system Canada has in place."