Skip to main content

Rally and round dance calls for Manitoba government to search landfill for women's remains


The families of two slain First Nations women continued to press the Manitoba government Friday to search a landfill for their remains, while Premier Wab Kinew appeared to back away from a timeline for the search to start.

The families, along with supporters and Indigenous leaders, marched through downtown Winnipeg and rallied outside the legislature.

They accused the NDP government of delays and inaction on its election promise last fall to search the Prairie Green Landfill, where police believe the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran were taken.

"I've just been so angry with the lack of action towards the search," Harris's daughter, Cambria Harris, said.

Myran's sister, Jordan Myran, added: "We got (former premier) Heather Stefanson out and then Wab Kinew came in, and he has made promise after promise, and at this point has been all talk and no action."

Kinew, who led the New Democrats to victory over Stefanson's Progressive Conservatives last October, told reporters Friday he remains committed to getting the landfill searched.

But unlike last month, when he said he was confident a search could begin this year, he was no longer willing to publicly discuss a timeline.

"I don't know if I can answer questions about timelines, operation details, funding," Kinew said.

"These are things that we work on, and I think it's important for us to share that work with the folks most directly engaged."

Police believe Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran were killed in the spring of 2022 and their remains were taken to the privately owned Prairie Green Landfill north of Winnipeg.

Jeremy Skibicki has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Harris, Myran and two others -- Rebecca Contois, whose partial remains were found in a different landfill, and an unidentified woman Indigenous leaders have named Buffalo Woman.

The former Tory government said a landfill search had no guarantee of success and was too risky given the asbestos and other toxic material contained in the area. The Tories took out campaign ads promoting their decision to "stand firm" against the search.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, along with the families, commissioned two reports on the feasibility of a search. The second study, issued in January, said a search is doable and could cost $90 million if completed within a year.

The report also said the sections, or cells, of the landfill where the women's remains are believed to have been placed recorded a total of 712 tonnes of asbestos deposits, which would present a major health hazard if the asbestos became airborne.

The report calls for measures to contain the asbestos and other material, and a large building that would contain machinery to sift through landfill material.

Kinew said the government has looked at the report and would consider it.

"We'll definitely keep it in mind as part of our commitment to searching the landfill," Kinew said.

The families are scheduled to meet with the provincial, federal and municipal governments later this month. Cambria Harris said she hopes Kinew follows through on his promise.

"We legitimately have a search team on standby ... to get this search started," she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2024.

Hundreds gather outside the Manitoba Legislature for a rally calling on the government to search the Prairie Green Landfill on March 8, 2024 (Alexandra Holyk/CTV News Winnipeg) Top Stories

Stay Connected