Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Chief Kyra Wilson, Families of Victims, Feasibility Study Co-Chairs, and Invited Experts (ISN Maskwa) Demand Premier Stefanson and All Levels of Government to Reconsider Prairie Green Landfill Search
July 17, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), Chief Kyra Wilson of Long Plain First Nation, and the families of the missing victims are continuing to call upon the Province of Manitoba and relevant government officials to reconsider the decision not to search the Prairie Green Landfill site.
The AMC addressed the misleading narrative the Manitoba government perpetuated, claiming that technical and safety issues make the search infeasible. This statement highlights the government’s failure to read the report and exposes the misleading narrative surrounding safety concerns.
The report indicates that Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran are in a specific area of the Prairie Green Landfill, which significantly narrows down the search area. Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman) is also believed to be in the Prairie Green Landfill site. Ignoring these findings only perpetuates the injustice suffered by these First Nations women.
“We stand united in demanding that the provincial and federal governments demonstrate compassion, respect, and accountability towards the families of the MMIWG victims,” declared Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “The report clearly states that the search is both feasible and necessary. Citing safety concerns without thoroughly reviewing the report is an unacceptable excuse. We are prepared to bring in experts who have successfully and safely conducted similar searches to emphasize this point.”
“We stand united in demanding that the provincial and federal governments demonstrate compassion, respect, and accountability towards the MMIWG victims and their families,” said Chief Kyra Wilson. “To not make any effort to attempt to bring closure to the grieving family members is disrespectful. No one deserves to remain in a landfill site for any reason. All levels of government need to know the country is watching. Will you make the same mistake again? Come back to the table with a proper review of the report and work with us, not against us.”
To further emphasize the feasibility of the landfill search, the AMC and Chief Wilson have invited experienced specialists to validate its viability.
Retired Deputy Chief Sean Spalding of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, who has successfully conducted three landfill searches, attests to the effectiveness of such operations. John Martella, an expert in the suggested recovery sorting process, emphasizes that we can mitigate environmental hazards with proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and evacuation and processing protocols. He also noted that the risks involved for personnel undertaking these endeavours are no different from those already encountered and managed within the industry.
The AMC, Chief Wilson, and the victims’ families demand immediate action and accountability from all levels of government. It is time for a genuine commitment to justice and the respect owed to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and their families. Failure to act now is a continuation of the systemic negligence that has plagued these cases for far too long.
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
For further information on Missanabie Cree First Nation ISN Maskwa or a request to speak to any of ISN Technical Experts, contact Jane Martynuck, Media Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.