First Nations Leaders Join Daughters of Morgan Harris in Calling for Resignation of Winnipeg Police Force’s Danny Smyth
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 9, 2022
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) stands with Cambria and Kera Harris, daughters of the late Morgan Harris, in calling for the resignation today of the Chief of Police Danny Smyth and a plan to conduct a search of Prairie Green Landfill.
“There is such a huge loss of trust between First Nations citizens and the Winnipeg Police Service,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “Now is the time for the Winnipeg Police Service to take swift action in working to rebuild trust with our Nations. This landfill should be classified as an active crime scene and as such, a search for the remains of our stolen women must take place.”
“I am encouraging the Chief of Police to show leadership today,” stated Grand Chief Daniels. “We need to see leadership at all levels, and I support the call for the resignation of Danny Smyth from the role of Chief of Police. The Winnipeg police should be using all their resources to find these women. The landfill should be declared a crime scene immediately, and then we need to address the appalling violence against our women and stop them from being disposed of in landfills.”
“We can’t trust the police when they say there are no other victims because they have not been transparent with us,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “By not declaring the landfill a crime scene back in June, the search to find the remains became much more difficult. We have to wonder: why didn’t the police choose to start the search in June?”
“Understanding that the site is outside of the City of Winnipeg, we recognize that the RCMP need to get involved to prioritize a forensic search of this landfill. We are asking police to stop using language saying that this is not feasible because this is not truthful. This does not work for us. It doesn’t work for our women and it’s not going to work for our relationship with the police,” shared Grand Chief Daniels.
SCO believes there has been a lack of due diligence in determining whether a search of the landfill could be completed. Grand Chief Jerry Daniels and the Chiefs of the southern First Nations will continue to stand with the families of Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, Rebecca Contois, and Buffalo Woman and every family impacted by this issue, in the search for justice for their loved ones.
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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