Indigenous groups want search for remains of Indigenous women at 2 Manitoba landfills

WINNIPEG-The Indigenous-led committee tasked with determining whether it’s possible to recover the remains of two First Nations women says it wants the federal government to fund searches at two Manitoba landfills.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is putting together feasibility studies on searching the Brady Road landfill run by the City of Winnipeg and the privately owned Prairie Green landfill.

The organization is asking for patience as the committee, including specialists, develops a plan.

The feasibility study committee was established last year after Winnipeg police said they would not search the Prairie Green landfill for the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran, citing the passage of time and the large volume of material that had been deposited at the site.

The assembly said it is devoted to a trauma-informed and family-focused approach, which includes involving members of the two women’s families in the process.

Police have charged Jeremy Skibicki with first-degree murder in the deaths of Harris, Myran, Rebecca Contois and an unidentified woman that Indigenous leaders have named Buffalo Woman. Contois’ partial remains were found in June at the Brady landfill.

The Brady landfill reopened to the public Friday after weeks of conversations between the City of Winnipeg and demonstrators who set up blockades calling for a search of the area for Harris and Myran.

Police believe the remains of Harris and Myran are at the Prairie Green landfill, outside the city, but Harris’s family has been calling for a search of both sites.

An encampment is to remain near the entrance along the roadway to the Brady Road facility, but the city said customers will be able to access the landfill and the depot.

The city said it is committed to maintaining an open dialogue with demonstrators and has been able to reach a compromise that supports the right to peacefully protest while allowing operations to continue at the landfill.

The landfill search committee includes First Nations leaders, Winnipeg police, RCMP, the city and the province, as well as elders and a forensics experts.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2023.

 

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