Indigenous people and their allies across Canada plan to come together on Monday, September 18 for the #SearchTheLandfill day of action to show solidarity with the families of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran whose bodies are believed to be in a Winnipeg landfill that the province refuses to search.
“It’s overwhelming, it feels like the government doesn’t care at all and it shows,” said MMIW survivor Jody-Leigh Pacey. “(Their behavior) shows that we can go and throw away the body of an indigenous woman because the government is not going to search.”
“They are showing us that we don’t matter and it’s so sad.”
Monday’s action is scheduled for September 18, the day the House of Commons returns from the summer break.
Events take place across the country, with the largest planned in Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton, with others in Vancouver, Prince George and North Battleford.
Conservative Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson continued to deny research efforts at the landfill, citing cost, safety risks and no guarantee of success, even though the union representing landfill workers said there is no reason why research cannot be carried out if appropriate precautions are taken.
And the landfills have already been searched. In 2021, Nathaniel Brettell’s remains were found in an Ontario landfill after several months of searching.
The province is in the middle of a provincial election and the discharge is a major argument of the campaign: the Liberals say they would pay half the cost of a $184 million search if they were elected, while the NDP promises that he will do what Stefanson will not do, which is “try”.
“It’s very exhausting, especially as a survivor, I know what it’s like,” Pacey said. “Experiencing something so violent and not being able to protect myself, there is no protection and we fear for our safety every day, every day.”
Monday’s events are for everyone and will include speeches, drumming, dancing and marches – those who cannot attend are encouraged to wear red.
“We need more people to get involved because they’re not listening to us here in Winnipeg. We’ve had rallies, marches, a blockade and it’s disheartening to feel like we’re trying to fight this alone,” Pacey said.
“This is an awareness and a call for support from across the country. This has been done before, they searched the landfill looking for other people, so I don’t know why this isn’t happening. cannot be redone.”
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