AMC Chiefs-in-Assembly Call for the Resignation of Manitoba’s PC Party Leader
August 18, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Chiefs-in-Assembly calls for the resignation of Heather Stefanson, the leader of Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative (PC) Party.
The motion urging the premier’s immediate resignation was passed during the AMC’s 35th Annual General Assembly held in Brokenhead Ojibway Nation earlier this week. The resolution was passed unanimously in response to the premier’s stated position and continued refusal to support a search of the Brady Landfill and Prairie Green Landfill for Marcedes Myran, Morgan Harris, Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman), and Tanya Nepinak. The province’s refusal to support the search for and the repatriation of human remains is contrary to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Article 12 of the UNDRIP outlines that indigenous peoples possess the rights to uphold, develop, and share their spiritual practices and traditions, safeguard their cultural and religious sites privately, exercise control over ceremonial items, and reclaim their human remains. Additionally, states are encouraged to collaborate with indigenous communities in establishing equitable and transparent procedures to facilitate access to and repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains within their possession.
AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick said, “All political party leaders should be committed to implementing the UNDRIP and reconciliation. This includes the search for, and repatriation of, human remains in the Brady and Prairie Green landfills. Heather Stefanson’s disregard for respecting human rights and promoting reconciliation as the Manitoba PC Party Leader means she will do the same if she is re-elected as Premier. It is time to make way for another party member who possesses the moral and ethical integrity and leadership aptitude to honour those who have been murdered or gone missing, listen to voices of the families and survivors, address the injustices created by colonization, and uphold a firm commitment to human rights.”
“I want to express my gratitude for the support from my fellow Chiefs-in-Assembly in passing this resolution aimed at bringing our women home,” said Chief Kyra Wilson. “Let me be clear; we’re going to conduct those landfill searches, no matter the obstacles thrown our way by the Premier. These hurdles, although frustrating, are temporary setbacks in the face of the inevitable progress we’re determined to make. We maintain an open invitation to the Premier: stand with us as a partner in this vital work to bring our missing women home, or step aside. Should she continue to choose the latter, she must recognize that our united voice, upheld by the strength of our community, holds significant weight. With First Nations making up the largest population in Manitoba, our collective voting power speaks volumes. Our dedication to this cause surpasses any obstacles, and our persistence will ultimately prevail.”
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Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) peoples.