#SearchTheLandfill: Indigenous Women are Not Disposable

Families of murdered Indigenous women demand a search to recover their bodies and give them a dignified burial
a stone monument stands, with several layers of stones laid at the base of the statue. A sign placed between the stones reads "Justice for all our sisters" #MMIWG2S+
A memorial statue stands in Winnipeg, Canada to honour the memory of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, Two Spirit and Queer community members.

For months, families of Indigenous women murdered in Winnipeg have been calling for a search to recover their bodies and give them a proper burial. Rebecca Contois, a member of O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation, Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran, both members of Long Plain First Nation, and an unidentified woman to whom community leaders have given the name Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman, are all believed to have been murdered by alleged serial killer Jeremy Skibicki between March and May 2022. Rebecca Contois’ remains were found in May 2022; Harris’ and Myran’s bodies are believed to be in the Prairie Green Landfill.

The families of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran, with the support of many Indigenous advocates, are demanding a search of the landfill. A feasibility study conducted by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs concluded that a search can be done, and experts have publicly stated that it can be executed safely. However, the Manitoba government has refused to fund a search. By refusing to fund the search the Manitoba government is communicating a message that Indigenous women are disposable – and will put Indigenous women at further risk in the province. 

Since December, supporters of the women’s families have camped outside the Brady Road Landfill, where Rebecca Contois’ partial remains were found. Camp Morgan, named for Morgan Harris, is both a protest camp and a healing space. It has become a place for Indigenous women and their supporters to gather in ceremony, practice mutual support, share traditional knowledge with one another, and create art honouring Indigenous women and girls. More recently, family members of Marcedes Myran have established Camp Marcedes outside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, as a public witness to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Please pray:

  • For support and healing for the families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
  • For government decision-makers to listen to the families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and to honour the lives of their lost loved ones
  • For governments to support community safety strategies that protect Indigenous people 
  • For transformation of the child welfare system, which has deeply wounded many Indigenous families

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