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‘Nothing has changed’: Dozens march for Tina Fontaine in Vancouver

Dozens marched through downtown Vancouver on Saturday asking for the federal government to make changes to protect Indigenous people following the acquittal of Raymond Cormier.
Dozens marched through downtown Vancouver on Saturday asking for the federal government to make changes to protect Indigenous people following the acquittal of Raymond Cormier. Michelle Morton / Global News

Protestors in Vancouver are fuming despite Saturday’s chilly weather after the man accused in the murder of Tina Fontaine was found not guilty.

Dozens were on the corner of West Georgia and Hamilton streets before marching to Robson Square, saying the federal government is not protecting Indigenous women and girls.

READ MORE: Raymond Cormier found not guilty in death of Tina Fontaine

Audrey Siegl with Idle No More said her community has been surviving a genocide for more than 500 years.

“When you live in that genocide, the meaning is clear to you every day. When you are the one singled out, when you are the one denied access to health care, to medical care, to education, to simple basics like justice and safety,” she said.

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The 15-year-old’s body was found in the Red River wrapped in plastic and a duvet cover and was weighed down with rocks in August 2014.

WATCH: Reaction to Tina Fontaine court case

“Tina is sadly, just another statistic for most Canadians. Most Canadians still believe that we deserve to die. That we don’t deserve justice,” Siegl said.

“Nothing has changed.”

The circumstances around Fontaine’s death helped spur the national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

READ MORE: How the tragic death of Tina Fontaine helped spark the MMIWG inquiry

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Hundreds took to the streets in Winnipeg on Friday in memory of Fontaine and Indigenous leaders called on social services and the justice system to help Indigenous youth.

A jury found Raymond Cormier not guilty of second-degree murder on Thursday.

During the trial, witnesses said they had seen Cormier and the teen together in the days before she went missing.

There was no DNA or forensic evidence linking Cormier and Fontaine and pathologists weren’t able to confirm a cause of death.

The case relied on an undercover police sting where officers bugged Cormier’s apartment and recorded him speaking about having sex with Fontaine, who was a minor and talked about “finishing the job.”

Similar protests have been in other cities across the country.

With files from Katie Dangerfield, Brittany Greenslade and the Canadian Press