By Marc Lalonde
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs plans to search the Prairie Green landfill in Winnipeg for then remains of a pair of missing women were met with support and thanks by federal Crown-Indigenous Relations minister Gary Anandasangaree earlier this week.
The plan, which the AMC unveiled last week, says the search of the Prairie Green Landfill for the remains of two murdered First
Nations women could cost less and take a shorter amount of time than previously reported.
Full details have not yet been made public.
Last Thursday, AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick said copies of the report addressing safety concerns around searching the landfill for the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran was sent to the federal and provincial governments, as well as to Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham’s office.
The report was created in conjunction with the AMC and the Long Plain First Nation as well as the Harris and Myran families.
“We expect that the findings in this report will expedite the funding required to begin the search and recovery operation,”
Merrick said. “Over a year we have done everything asked of us. We cannot offer to produce any more reports.”
Anandasangaree thanked the AMC for the report but didn’t make any commitments on funding.
“We are reviewing the report and will work with families, the province, Long Plain First Nation, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, and other partners to move forward, in a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive manner, to bring healing and closure for the families and communities. We expect to meet in the near future,” he said. “I sincerely thank Long Plain First Nation and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs for the work plans to search the Prairie Green Landfill. These plans outline potential strategies to address personnel training, equipment procurement, and hazardous, toxic, and biohazardous waste management.”
It is believed by authorities that the remains of Harris and Myran are in the landfill, but police have balked at searching the dump, citing the length of time the women were believed to be in the landfill and safety concerns over exposure to toxic chemicals.
Marc Lalonde/ Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/IORI:WASE/LJI is a federal government program.