Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grateful for Support from Leadership at the Assembly of First Nations and CUPE Local 500
July 16, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) strongly denounces the jurisdictional debates amongst all levels of government to refuse the search for the remains of murdered First Nations women in the Prairie Green landfill in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The AMC is grateful for the support of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), and the CUPE Local 500 Union, which has joined us in calling on the federal and provincial governments to take immediate and concrete action to locate the remains of Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman) and return them home.
During the recent AFN Annual General Assembly (AGA) held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, First Nations-In-Assembly passed an Emergency Resolution, expressing their condemnation of the decisions made by all levels of government, police, and law enforcement services across Canada. These decisions have led to the failure to adequately search for and/or recover the remains of missing and murdered First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, including the recent decision by the Manitoba Provincial Government not to search the Prairie Green Landfill.
The resolution further urges Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson to reconsider this decision and work in collaboration with the Federal Government to conduct thorough searches of both the Prairie Green Landfill and Brady Landfill.
On Friday, July 14th, CUPE Local 500 President Gord Delbridge also sent encouraging words to the families stating that the union, which represents 715,000 workers across Canada, stands with the families of MMIWG2S+ and that they support the calls to have the Brady Landfill searched immediately.
Grand Chief Cathy Merrick said, “We truly appreciate the support we are getting nationally from all different organizations and leaders that have come forward after the Premier put out a press statement refusing to support a provincially funded search of the Prairie Green site. People can see how that position taken by the Premier has further deepened the pain and frustration experienced by the affected families. Our Women are sacred, and the Premier has opposed that, setting a very dangerous and threatening precedent. So the support to push governments to do the right thing is very much welcomed.”
“We remain committed to our fight for justice and the dignity of Morgan Harris, Marcades Myran, and Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe,” said Chief Kyra Wilson. “We will continue to advocate tirelessly until these women are found and their families find the closure they deserve. We won’t let this ignorant decision and statement from Premier Stefanson stop us from finding these women, and we stand united as First Nations across Turtle Island to demand action from all levels of government on this search.”
The AMC stands resolute in its commitment to advocate for the families of missing and murdered First Nation women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals. The recently released report, “Connecting Hearts and Making
Change: Building on Breathing Life into the Calls for Justice: An Action Plan to End Violence Against First Nations Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People,” explicitly calls for searches of landfills and other potential burial sites.
The AMC calls upon all levels of government to prioritize the safety, well-being, and justice for First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals by swiftly addressing the urgent need for comprehensive searches of potential burial sites. It is time to show respect for the lives lost and support the healing journey of the families affected by these tragedies.
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
About the 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.