AMC Condemns Exploitation of MMIWG2S+ Crisis by Former Consultant Marni Larkin
October 17, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) continues to express deep concern and disturbance regarding the actions of the campaign manager for the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba. Marni Larkin, who has gone on record to defend the politically divisive and distressingly insensitive campaign centred on the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ (MMIWG2S+), had previously been contracted by previous leadership of the AMC to assist on various files.
AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick stated, “Larkin has demonstrated a concerning disregard for the gravity of the MMIWG2S+ crisis by weaponizing this sensitive issue for political gain. It is disheartening to witness the exploitation of a genuine humanitarian crisis for narrow political objectives, and to garner seats based on such a horrific campaign platform.”
Over a three-year fee-for-service contract, Larkin played a crucial role as a consultant for the AMC. Larkin often liaised between the AMC and the province with regard to the AMC’s economic development file. She also coordinated meetings with senior bureaucrats within the government of Manitoba. In a recent interview, the outgoing premier issued an apology for the campaign.
“Providing a lacklustre apology following the considerable harm caused by that campaign is a weak effort at retribution. I trust that both Marni and Heather will take necessary steps to educate themselves about the impact of such blatant racism,” continued AMC Grand Chief Merrick. “Nevertheless, I maintain optimism that this experience will linger with both women. I sincerely hope they reflect deeply on their direct role in perpetuating the ongoing harm and racism experienced by First Nations in this province.”
The AMC emphasizes that Larkin’s actions contradict entirely the working relationship she established with the AMC. Grand Chief Merrick added, “It’s deeply concerning to know that a person who worked so intimately with First Nations in this province — who built that trust with us — could easily exploit the MMIWG2S+ crisis for political advantage.”
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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) people.