FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) wishes to share our deepest condolences and prayers to the family, children, and loved ones of the late Melinda Lynxleg.
“Our hearts are heavy from the news that one of our relatives was found deceased earlier this week,” shared SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “SCO stands in solidarity with the children, family, and friends of Melinda Lynxleg, and the people of Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve as they grieve the loss of their loved one. It is my hope that this news might help them begin the healing process as they continue their search for justice.”
Melinda was 40 years old, a mother of six, a sister to seven, and a member of the Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve when she went missing in March 2020.
Earlier today, the RCMP announced that Lynxleg’s remains had been found in San Clara, Manitoba and that her death has been ruled a homicide.
At a press conference held at RCMP Headquarters earlier today, Lynxleg’s loved ones and police urged the public to come forward with any information to help with the ongoing investigation into Melinda’s disappearance and death. To submit a tip related to this investigation, please call the RCMP Major Crime Services Tip Line at 1-431-489-8110.
“We must continue to call for justice for Melinda’s family, and for every family that has been impacted by the ongoing national emergency of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit and gender-diverse people (MMIWG2S+),” said Grand Chief Daniels. ”It is essential that we move forward with creating an action plan to implement the 231 Calls for Justice that were laid out four years ago in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls within all levels of government, including all levels of police services.”
Today’s announcement follows CBC’s recent report card on the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice, which found that out of the 231 calls for justice:
• More than half (123) have not been started;
• 106 are in progress; and,
• Only two have been completed (Calls 5.20 and 5.23)
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization launched the Survivors Healing Program, which provides supports and advocacy to families and Survivors of MMIWG2S+ as well as well as the Mobile Crisis Response Team, who are available to provide responsive, trauma-informed, and appropriate southern mental health and wellness. The Traditional Healers program can also assist in connecting southern First Nation citizens with traditional healers and ceremonies.
If you require immediate emotional support, please call the national, independent toll free 24/7 support line at 1-844-413-6649 to speak to a counsellor. This service is available in English, Anishnaabemowin, and Cree.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 83,000 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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