Racism in gay online dating
The night before she left, the family gathered to pray and ask for protection, as they do every night.
The next morning Thelma gave Tina and a calling card.
(Their mother had left the girls as babies.) Eugene had been raising the girls on his own in Winnipeg, where he worked at a tire plant. But he never had the chance to bring them back home to Winnipeg. Last spring, Tina ran away twice to Winnipeg to visit her mom—a relationship Thelma encouraged, feeling the girl needed another parental bond after losing her dad.
He knew the girls would be better off with Thelma, his aunt, who had helped raise him. 21, 2003, which still hangs in a simple wooden frame in Thelma’s living room in Powerview-Pine Falls, about 100 km northeast of Winnipeg, Eugene signed over temporary custody of Tina, his “little monkey,” and Sarah, whom he’d lovingly nicknamed “chubby.” Tina, a beautiful wisp of a girl, flourished at École Powerview after Thelma pulled her and Sarah from their reserve school. Her boyfriend was deaf; the pair communicated by texting. He became addicted to his pain medication and the alcohol he was using to cope. 31, 2011—just shy of the four months doctors told him he had left to live—Eugene was beaten to death in a dispute over money. In early July, she allowed Tina to visit her mom in Winnipeg for a week: it was her reward for excellent grades that June.
She’d show them TV programs on murdered and missing indigenous women, clip newspaper articles. 17, the girl’s remains were pulled from the Red River’s murky waters near the Alexander Docks in downtown Winnipeg.
“It’s not safe out there for Aboriginals girls,” she’d caution. The murder of the 15-year-old was only the most recent, horrifying example of the violence faced by Winnipeg’s indigenous community—a world apart from white Winnipeg.
Eight days later she was pulled from the river, identified by a tattoo on her back bearing the name of her father, Eugene. “Every time I leave the house I feel like I’m having a panic attack.” She can’t forgive herself for letting Tina go to Winnipeg.
On a recent frigid weekday afternoon, a 14-year-old Aboriginal girl, coming off a high after huffing gas, told none of her girlfriends have changed their behaviour in the wake of Tina’s murder, laughing at the suggestion. “It’s like somebody ripped your heart out of your chest.
They came after Nunavummiuq musician Tanya Tagaq, last year’s Polaris Music Prize winner, who complained that while out to lunch in downtown Winnipeg where she was performing with the city’s ballet this fall, “a man started following me calling me a ‘sexy little Indian’ and asking to f–k.” They came the very week an inquest issued its findings in the death of Brian Sinclair, an indigenous 45-year-old who died from an entirely treatable infection after being ignored for 34 hours in a city ER.Almost 90 per cent of children in foster care in Manitoba are Aboriginal, the highest rate in Canada.) Tina was last seen on Aug. “I want to go home to Sagkeeng, where I’m loved,” she told her.The friend says Tina was approached by a man who asked her to perform a sex act. Within days, Winnipeg police would announce another missing Aboriginal girl last seen in the North End. Since Tina’s death, Thelma has refused to leave her tidy home on Louis Riel Drive.They came in the wake of a civic election dominated by race relations after a racist rant by a frontrunner’s wife went viral: “I’m really tired of getting harassed by the drunken native guys” downtown, Gord Steeves’s wife, Lori, wrote on Facebook.“We all donate enough money to keep their sorry asses on welfare, so shut the f–k up and don’t ask me for another handout!