A rally in support of a landfill search to find the remains of missing Indigenous women took place at the Manitoba legislature. Participants hoped to pressure the provincial government into taking action on the search.
They also gathered to support the families of Marcedes Myran and Morgan Harris. The Winnipeg Police service reported in December they believed their remains were in the Prairie Green Landfill, victims of an alleged Winnipeg serial killer.
Carrying signs and hand drums, supporters demanded justice for the women and pushed for the immediate landfill search.
One supporter, Michael Yellowwing, stepped up to say the ongoing genocide of Indigenous women has to stop.
“Individual acts are genocide when they’re all happening to the same group,” said Yellowwing.
Weeks after the results of a landfill search feasibility study were released by a committee made up of family members, Long Plain First Nation leadership, where the women were from, and the Winnipeg Police Service, forensics experts, the RCMP, the City of Winnipeg, and Provincial government representatives saying a search was possible, no plans have been announced.
Long Plain First Nation Chief, Kyra Wilson said there are tentative plans for a meeting about the landfill search on July 5 with Premier Heather Stefanson and Indigenous Reconciliation Minister, Eileen Clark, but Wilson hadn’t confirmed as of Wednesday. According to Wilson, the federal government is confirming its support for a search, but said it is waiting on the provincial government to confirm its support for the search.
Indigenous leaders have spoken out about the need for a landfill search.
“I believe that far too often, when it comes to Indigenous or First Nations issues, it’s either pawned off to the federal government or provincial government and you see that a lot of the time,” Wilson said. “Here we are, with the landfill search and it’s just getting pushed back and forth,” Wilson said.
“So, for me, this is not a political issue. This is, you know, an issue that speaks to humanity and who we are as a community, as a society,” Wilson said.
“And if you’re not willing to do that landfill search and if you’re not willing to do that work in your role as a leader, then somebody else needs to be sitting there.”
Cambria Harris, the daughter of one of the women whose remains are believed to be in the landfill urged those gathered to keep putting pressure on government and to keep talking about the issue of missing and murdered women.
“Acknowledge what is happening and continue to talk about it with your peers-at the dinner table,” Harris said.
“When you go home today, don’t let this be a onetime conversation. Make this an everyday conversation. Because if it’s uncomfortable for you to speak about, could you imagine how uncomfortable it is for our Indigenous community to have to live through every single day?”