The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) says the media is victim-blaming and using negative, unfounded stereotypes in its reporting of the Tina Fontaine murder trial.
Media should be focusing on the actions of the accused, and not on the victim, said NWAC in a press statement.
Tina Fontaine is not on trial, they tell media.
The 15-year-old girl’s remains were found wrapped in a duvet with rocks weighing them down in Winnipeg’s Red River in 2014. A 55-year-old man, Raymond Cormier, is standing trial on second degree murder charges, accused in Fontaine’s death.
NWAC calls on all members of the media to “deeply consider the narratives they engage in and consider the damage to Indigenous families. Consider the stereotypes and myths on which narratives are based before constructing stories and headlines that harm communities and families who are suffering.”
Recent headlines that focused on the toxicology report from the autopsy on Fontaine sparked an angry social media response, calling out media for victim-blaming.
NWAC works with these families and regularly witnesses the damage that negative media language and thoughtless coverage causes, says the statement.
Tina deserves better. Tina’s family deserves better. The public deserves better, NWAC states.