Winnipeg police to participate in ‘working committee’ to determine feasibility of landfill search

Several Indigenous organizations are calling on the federal government to provide funding to support a search at a Manitoba landfill for the remains of two Indigenous women. Alex Karpa reports.

By News Staff

Winnipeg police say they will participate in a “working committee” to determine the feasibility of a recovery search for two Indigenous women at the Prairie Green landfill.

The landfill north of Winnipeg is where police believe are located the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myron.

Police allege Harris, Myran, Rebecca Contois, and a fourth victim known as Buffalo Woman were killed.

The accused, Jeremy Skibicki, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder. He has maintained his innocence.


Police discovered Contois’ partial remains at the Brady Road landfill earlier this year.

But the Winnipeg Police Service decided not to conduct a search at Prairie Green citing logistical challenges and time passed, saying the likelihood of finding the remains of Harris and Myron was low.

That decision was met with intense backlash from the victims’ families, the Indigenous community and advocates.

“It’s very detrimental to our people that our people are being found in landfills,” said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC).

The WPS says the working committee will be led by Chief Merrick.

This comes after WPS Chief Danny Smyth met with Merrick and Long Plain First Nation Chief Kyra Wilson on Wednesday.

“As a First Nation people, we need to be taking care of our people, we need to be able to take care of ourselves, we need to be taking care of our women that are vulnerable coming into the cities leaving their communities and that we be able to do that to them.”

WATCH: Dozens block Brady Road Landfill entrance to call for search

Calling on the feds

Several Indigenous organizations are calling on the federal government to provide funding to support a search at a Manitoba landfill for the remains of two Indigenous women.

The letter, sent to federal ministers Marc Miller, Patty Hajdu and Marco Mendicino, is urging the feds to provide financial support to search the Prairie Green Landfill north of Winnipeg, one week after the Winnipeg Police said a search is not feasible. Grand Chief Cathy Merrick with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says this letter highlights the work that is needed in absence of the Winnipeg Police Service.

“We did our plea and I’m very hopeful and very confident that they are going to support our process in terms of us being able to provide a feasibility study and do the work in a short period of time,” said Merrick.

The letter is calling on Ottawa to invite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People to oversee the search, provide resources to fund a study, and provide necessary funding for support and resources for the impacted families. The letter also calls on the feds to call in the RCMP if the Winnipeg Police do not do a search.

“Every family deserves justice,” said Sandra DeLaronde, Project Lead, MMIWG2S+ Implementation Community, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre. “All of this falls under the 231 calls to justice. It is acknowledging the rights of Indigenous women.”

Heidi Spence with Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak says she has faith that a search will happen. “There will be some efforts made to at least try. I am hopeful and I know everybody out there is hopeful for the same thing.”

-With files from Alex Karpa, CityNews

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