The federal government says it will fund a feasibility study on a potential search of a Winnipeg-area landfill for the remains of two Indigenous women.
Marc Miller, the minister for Crown-Indigenous relations, says the study will be part of an effort to help the victims’ families find closure.
“We’re glad to deploy the resources the federal government can, including financial resources, to help with what will be a feasibility study and will set the stage for the next conversations that we’ll have with the families foremost in the search for closure,” Miller said in Ottawa Thursday.
Police believe the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran were placed in the Prairie Green landfill last spring, and a suspect has been charged with first-degree murder.
The Winnipeg Police Service initially rejected the idea of a search, citing the passage of time, the lack of a precise location within the landfill, and the tonnes of material including clay and animal remains that have been deposited.
After pressure from victims’ relatives and Indigenous leaders, police have agreed to take part in a feasibility study to examine the options and parameters for a potential search.
Read more: Winnipeg police say identified victims in alleged serial murder case likely at landfill north of city
Miller says he would like to see discussion about what resources are needed from various levels of government.
Jeremy Skibicki has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Harris, Myran, Rebecca Contois — whose partial remains were found in a different landfill — and a fourth unidentified woman who community leaders have called Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman.