SCO Expresses Importance of Keeping Families First During Search of Landfill

June 12, 2024

“It is essential the process for searching the Prairie Green Landfill is led by the impacted families.” – Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 12, 2024

ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB —The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is issuing this statement to respond to news that a search of the Prairie Green Landfill near the City of Winnipeg will begin soon.

“On behalf of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, I am very pleased to hear that a search of the Prairie Green Landfill will soon be underway,” stated Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean. “I commend and stand with the families of the late Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran as they have advocated tirelessly to help bring their loved ones home.”

The City of Winnipeg remains ground zero for the national emergency of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse People (MMIWG2S+). Gender-based violence continues to disproportionately impact our citizens, with devastating consequences.

SCO continues to mourn the loss of Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and an unidentified woman who has been given the name Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman). The lives of these four women were violently ended by a confessed serial killer in 2022.

“A search of the landfill has been a long time in coming. I want to extend our thanks to our Treaty partners who have recognized the importance of finding our relatives,” said Acting Grand Chief McLean. “Our Premier held a ceremony with the families yesterday as he announced that a search would begin. I am glad to hear he took this time with them. This is not going to be an easy process for anyone. I encourage the provincial government to continue working closely with the families and putting them at the center throughout the process of this search.”

SCO will continue to raise our voices and advocate for change and justice for the victims and their families. It is essential we put an end to this ongoing national emergency, a result of the intersection of gender-based violence with anti-Indigenous racism. SCO calls for justice, honours our loved ones, and makes space for those impacted by MMIWG2S+ to reclaim their power and place.

There are 231 Calls for Justice that were shared in the final report from the National Inquiry into MMIWG2S+. These Calls for Justice are legal imperatives and provide a roadmap for Canada for moving forward to end the national emergency of MMIWG2S+.

SCO encourages everyone to read the Calls for Justice, which can be found here. At the request of Survivors and their families, SCO has created booklets of the 231 Calls for Justice. If you would like a copy, please drop by our Winnipeg sub-office at 1572 Dublin Avenue during office hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm except over the lunch hour 12 noon – 1 pm).

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The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 87,000 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.

For media inquiries:

Email: Media@scoinc.mb.ca