Daughters call for Winnipeg landfill to be searched for the bodies of missing women

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: Rebecca Contois, Morgan Beatrice Harris, Marcedes Myran.

Last week, Winnipeg Police announced that four Indigenous women – Rebecca Contois (24 years old), Morgan Beatrice Harris (39), Marcedes Myran (26) and an unidentified woman who has been given the name Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman) – had been killed. The suspect in these crimes has expressed anti-Indigenous views online.

CTV reports: “The Winnipeg Police Service believes the remains of two victims [Morgan Beatrice Harris and Marcedes Myran] of an alleged serial killer are in a landfill north of the city but say the recovery of their bodies is likely impossible.”

The article adds: “[Rebecca] Contois’ partial remains were discovered this summer in the Brady Landfill in Winnipeg.”

Cambria Harris, daughter of Morgan Harris, says: “Let’s pay [my Mother] the respect that she deserves by finally giving her one that’s not a resting place at the Prairie Green Landfill, and for the other women as well.”

Cambria further commented: “The police are trying to cover themselves because they know that they fail our women time and time again – and it needs to stop. Your government started this genocide and now it’s your turn to help us end it.”

And daughter Kera Harris says: “We have the people who are willing to help and do the work for you, but you are not accepting that. And if you won’t look for them, we will.”

Journalist Brandi Morin has also challenged the Winnipeg Police on the search for the bodies.

Morin says: “Don’t say it isn’t feasible. Don’t say the feds don’t have resources. Cause they sure come up w the resources in a hurry when they send their armies of police in 2 sovereign Indigenous lands like the Wet’suwet’en to restrain them from protecting their territories from a pipeline.”

Member of Parliament Leah Gazan says: “The loss of our four precious sisters is part of what the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and the Prime Minister himself, have characterized as an ongoing genocide.”

The National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls determined that “state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies” are in part responsible for the thousands of Indigenous women and girls who have been murdered or gone missing in Canada that the report names as genocide.

Gazan also notes: “The Liberal government must provide immediate funding and resources to stop this injustice, and protect Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people.”

And she highlighted: “This is an emergency, and a human rights crisis. Survivors, advocates and community leaders are counting on the federal government to act urgently to deliver the funding and necessary resources to stop this genocide.”

Peace Brigades International-Canada supports the call for the genocide to stop and for the resources to be provided for the remains of the women to be found.

PBI has accompanied the search for the remains of the murdered and missing. In Mexico, we accompany the Paso del Norte Human Rights Centre as they search to locate remains in Ciudad Juárez. In Colombia, we accompany the Movement of Victims of State Crime and the Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation who support a Comprehensive Bill on the Rights of Women Seekers of the Disappeared. And in Guatemala, we have accompanied the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala as they work to identify the remains of people who have been forcibly disappeared.

We recognize that these searches and recovery of remains of those disappeared and murdered are essential for truth, memory and non-repetition.

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