SCO Responds to First-Degree Murder Verdict in Trial of Admitted Serial Killer

July 11, 2024

“We hope this verdict helps the families with the grieving process as they continue to live with these immeasurable losses.”– Grand Chief Jerry Daniels

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2024

ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is responding to the news that an admitted serial killer has been found guilty in four cases of first-degree murder of Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and an unidentified woman, Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman).

“On behalf of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, I am thankful that the person charged with committing these horrific crimes has been found guilty on all four counts of first-degree murder,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “Today there are many mixed emotions as our citizens continue to grapple with this horrific reality of having lost their loved ones in such a violent and tragic way. We hope this verdict helps the families and loved ones as they continue to grieve these immeasurable losses.”

This guilty verdict is a crucial milestone. However, it is only the beginning of much larger work that needs to be done to address the systemic failures that contribute to the disproportionate violence against our First Nation relatives. SCO will continue to advocate for change, as it has for decades, for all those impacted by this ongoing national emergency of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people.

A full 150-page judgement will be released next week, and sentencing will occur on a date to be announced.

It is our hope that the focus will now shift to ensuring our relatives receive support as they come forward with their impact statements. SCO also looks forward to knowing a search of the landfill will occur. We have hope that a thorough search will bring much-needed closure to the families by locating the remains of their loved ones.

“The Southern Chiefs’ Organization will continue to help ensure the voices of the families and Survivors are heard and that justice is pursued with dedication and determination, “said Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “The lives of our First Nations members matter. SCO supports the resolution from the Assembly of First Nations calling on Manitoba to hold an independent inquiry into the killings of the four women. As we move forward, we must all work together to create a safe society for our women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people. Although we are pleased to hear this serial killer has been found guilty of first-degree murder, our work in combatting violence against First Nations people in Manitoba is not over.”

SCO commends the families for their unwavering commitment, advocacy, and strength in seeking justice for their loved ones. We also commend the Crown Attorneys who worked on this case and the Honourable Chief Justice Glenn D. Joyal.

For anyone who requires immediate emotional support, please call the national, independent toll free 24/7 support line at 1-844-413-6649to speak to a counsellor. This service is available in English, Anishnaabemowin, and Cree.

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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