Statement from Dr. Annette Trimbee (re: Tina Fontaine)
With the trial of Raymond Cormier in the news, many of us in the UWinnipeg community have been thinking often of Tina Fontaine. Tina Fontaine was a young Indigenous person and a member of our community whose murder sparked national outrage and drew attention to the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. Her tragic death and life experience reminds us of the many holes that exist in our social fabric and how young Indigenous people like Tina can fall through. Members of the UWinnipeg community are affected by Tina’s story and our deepest sympathy goes out to her family.
Tina has had and will continue to have a profound impact on us and she will not be forgotten. Tina’s story raises important issues around murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, and two-spirit people, the justice system and society’s responsibility of caring for children. UWinnipeg faculty, staff and students will continue to grapple with these complex issues and will seek answers with Tina, and children like Tina, in our hearts and minds.
The University of Winnipeg is committed to creating safer spaces for students, staff, faculty and community members, particularly Indigenous peoples. We embrace our role as an accessible educational institution in the heart of downtown Winnipeg and will strive to ensure that young people who are looking for opportunities to learn and achieve their potential find them at UWinnipeg.
Undoubtedly recent events and media attention surrounding Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie have affected members of the University community. The University has counselling services available for those in need, and we encourage connection with the Aboriginal Student Services Centre.
Students who may need additional time to complete assignments or to defer tests/exams are encouraged to speak to their professors. They may also contact Academic Advising or Aboriginal Student Support Officer Jeff Booth in the Aboriginal Student Services Centre. If you would like to explore the option of counselling, please contact the Counselling Services centre at email@example.com or (204) 988-7611.
All are welcome to visit with our Elders-in-Residence, who are available Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm in the Aboriginal Student Services Centre in room 2L02C. There will be a sharing circle in the Aboriginal Student Services Centre on March 19, 2018.
All our relations,
Dr. Annette Trimbee
President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of Winnipeg