Feds invest in Prairie Green landfill search feasibility study

By Marc Lalonde

 Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The search for the remains of two Indigenous women allegedly killed by a Winnipeg man arrested in November will get a financial shot in the arm from the federal government, who will kick in half a million dollars for a feasibility study into searching the Prairie Green landfill.

The Prairie Green Landfill is privately owned and operates about 20 km north of Winnipeg.

The government first announced in December they would fund a study into the feasibility of searching for the remains of two First Nations women, Morgan Harris, 39, and Marcedes Myran, 26.

The funding will support the efforts of the Association of Manitoba Chiefs’ (AMC) efforts to find the missing women’s remains.

The funding will support the AMC `in collaborating with families and survivors; a variety of experts; Indigenous governments, partners, communities and grassroots organizations; as well as with federal, provincial and municipal governments; and other entities, such as the Winnipeg Police Service and the RCMP,’ the government said.

“The Landfill Search Feasibility Study Committee appreciates the public and financial support of (federal Crown-Indigenous Relations minister) Marc Miller,” AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick said. “This funding will provide much needed resources to conduct a proper feasibility study for Prairie Green Landfill. We anticipate that the work ahead will be emotionally and spiritually demanding for all involved, and as we continue to move forward at an expedient pace, we remind all those affected by this tragedy to ensure they are accessing the supports available.”

Winnipeg police arrested Jeremy Skibicki in May 2022 and charged him with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Rebecca Contois, 24, whose partial remains were found in Winnipeg’s Brady landfill site.

In December, police announced Skibicki would be charged with three more counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Harris, Myran, and a fourth unidentified woman Indigenous leaders have named Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe or Buffalo Woman.

Miller said hearing stories such as these is heartbreaking, and that it will take concrete action to put an end to these kinds of incidents.

“I have heard first-hand the grief and pain of many families who have lost loved ones,” he said. “This crisis has been ongoing for too long and affects too many families and communities. Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people deserve to feel safe and be safe, wherever they are. We thank the AMC and the families for working with us through this emotionally and spiritually difficult time.

Through concrete actions and measures of accountability, we will put an end to this crisis.”

 Marc Lalonde is a  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter with IORI:WASE. The LJI program is federally funded. Turtle Island News does not receive LJI funding.


Add Your Voice

Is there more to this story? We'd like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Contribute your voice on our contribute page.