First Nation leaders implore Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson to search the landfills 

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/ Vancouver, B.C. – July 25, 2023) Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S+) family members, First Nations, and advocates have set up a new camp beside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after being forced by an injunction to clear their blockade of the city-run Brady Landfill.

The group is protesting Manitoba’s refusal to search the Brady Landfill, where the remains of First Nations women have been found, and the privately owned Prairie Green Landfill 40 kilometers north of the city where police believe more women were taken. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) stands steadfastly with the families of MMIWG2S+ and Manitoba First Nations and calls on Premier Heather Stefanson to work with all levels of government and authorities to conduct an immediate search of the landfills and to uphold the rights of victims and families.

The UBCIC is appalled to find that the Manitoba government’s decision not to conduct a search of the Prairie Green landfill citing safety concerns has been contradicted by a leaked feasibility study which concluded that a search could be safely done. The indignity and trauma experienced by victims and family members through these violent murders and disgraceful disposal of First Nations women is exacerbated by the governments’ inaction and lack of will.

At least five First Nations women have been found, or are believed to be, in the landfills. They are:

  • Rebecca Contois, 24 years old, remains found June 2022 in the Brady Landfill.
  • Morgan Harris, 39 years old, remains are believed to be in Prairie Green Landfill.
  • Marcedes Myran, 26 years old, remains are believed to be in Prairie Green Landfill.
  • Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman, named by her community, remains believed to be in one of the landfills.
  • Linda Mary Beardy, 33 years old, remains found April 2023 in the Brady Landfill.

Jeremy Skibicki has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of all but Linda Mary Beardy.

Earlier this month, the Assembly of First Nations passed emergency Resolution #05/2023 “Denouncement of Manitoba Decision on Brady Landfill Search for Remains of First Nations Women”, holding Canada to task for its legal obligation under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act to protect Indigenous peoples’ right to live free from genocide and to take all measures to protect Indigenous women and children against violence. The resolution further upholds the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls findings including Call for Justice 1.5, calling on governments to take all measures to prevent, investigate, punish and compensate for violence against Indigenous women and girls.

“The UBCIC shares our deepest condolences with the families impacted by these unconscionable acts of violence and stands in solidarity in demanding that Rebecca, Morgan, Marcedes, Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe and Linda receive justice and dignity after death,” states a press release.

Donations can be shared with families on the frontlines of the Brady Landfill and Canadian Museum of Human Rights camp via [email protected]

Sign the petition here.

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