GOVERNMENTS MUST SEARCH FOR INDIGENOUS WOMEN’S REMAINS

July 19, 2023

INDIGENOUS MMIWG2S PEOPLES ARE NOT WORTHLESS

WINNIPEG—Canadian Labour Congress President Bea Bruske, with the support of Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck issued the following statement today:

“Canada’s unions call on governments at all levels to commence a search for the remains of Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and an unidentified woman who has been named Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman) in the Prairie Green landfill.”

“The decision on whether to search the landfill, first and foremost must be made keeping basic decency, respect for human life and spirit in mind. Indigenous Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S) are not garbage. These MMIWG2S were sisters, siblings, daughters, aunties, and mothers. People loved them. Their lives mattered. Governments must do all they can to ensure that a landfill is not their final resting place.”

“As allies, we stand in solidarity with the families and communities of these MMIWG2S. The police have stated they believe their remains are in the landfill. A search must be conducted. It is unacceptable that the provincial government is not prepared to look at ways to move forward.”

“In 2019, the National Inquiry report into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls called for action directing police to put into place protocols to ensure that all MMIWG2S cases are thoroughly investigated. We must all heed the report’s 231 calls for justice and work to improve the quality of life of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit and gender-diverse people. 

“The health and safety of workers must be prioritized in moving forward with search plans, including ensuring proper personal protective equipment (PPE), training, and expert planning at every stage.”

“The families and community have been dealt with too many delays, court battles and jurisdictional disputes. We call on governments at all levels to begin a landfill search immediately, as the sooner the search begins, the sooner the healing and closure may commence.”

“This is our collective responsibility towards meaningful reconciliation.”

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Please contact:
CLC Media Relations
media@clcctc.ca
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