First Nations group expects landfill feasibility study to take months to finish 

Landfill site

WINNIPEG- The First Nations advocacy group tasked with overseeing efforts to determine whether it’s possible to recover the remains of two women from a landfill expects to complete a feasibility study in the next two months.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says it is still in the process of securing funding from the federal government for the feasibility study, but once that’s done, it should be completed by March 31.

The landfill search committee includes First Nations leaders, family members, Winnipeg police, RCMP, the City of Winnipeg and the province, as well as elders and forensic experts.

Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran

The group came together last year after Winnipeg police said they would not search the Prairie Green landfill outside Winnipeg 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.

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

The committee is pursuing requests to search both landfills, but says they are currently focusing on Prairie Green.

“It is acknowledged that the Brady landfill may require its own feasibility study, however, the committee has agreed that its primary initial focus will be the Prairie Green landfill site,” it said in a statement Tuesday.

The Brady Road landfill reopened to the public earlier this month after weeks of conversations between the city 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.

A subcommittee consisting of forensics experts will handle the bulk of the work, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said.

“Once federal funding is secured, the subcommittee can begin the critical work to complete the feasibility study report with recommendations and associated relevant budgets and timelines related to a search and recovery effort.”

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2023.

 

 

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