Skip to main content

See also:

Slain teen was a 'chronic runaway'

Who killed Tina Fontaine?
Who killed Tina Fontaine?
Photo provided to Media (Tina Fontaine)

The brutal murder of Tina Fontaine remains unsolved, but her story also remains in the media as a high profile reminder of the terrors that aboriginal women suffer without justice in Canada. This Wednesday news report shares that the teen was a "chronic runaway," which is something that proves challenging when it comes to finding out who killed her. It's also an element that makes it difficult for any missing person's case to be investigated. Even though their cases aren't investigated urgently, runaways are vulnerable to very real dangers -- which was illustrated recently by Tina's murder.

This is an issue that doesn't know borders. In the United States the disappearances of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight proved that even "runaways" could quickly turn into victims of horrible crimes. In Michelle Knight's case, she was never truly listed as a missing person. There are fundamental failures in both the Canadian and U.S. systems in which women are voiceless victims, and in the Canada's case, indigenous women are treated even worse.

Tina Fontaine, 15, was only missing for a brief time -- believed to be a runaway -- before her body was located wrapped in a plastic bag and dumped in the Red River. Her story is gruesome and heartbreaking -- and also a mystery, like so many other cases in Canada involving Aboriginal women, teens and children. Between the notorious "Highway of Tears" and the general violent crimes that befall these indigenous women, it's hard to see when or if things could ever change. Is the Canadian government willing to provide resources for runaway teens to help combat this violence?