Search the landfill events planned country-wide for Sept. 18

Click to play video: 'Hundreds of people gathered in Vancouver in solidarity with #SearchTheLandfill'
Hundreds of people gathered in Vancouver in solidarity with #SearchTheLandfill
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday in Vancouver in solidarity with the families of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran. Annita McPhee, one of the organizers, said they decided to do a performance piece to highlight Indigenous women "are not trash, we are sacred, we are strong, we are resilient." – Aug 3, 2023

Indigenous people and allies across Canada are planning to gather on Monday for a  #SearchTheLandfill day of action to show solidarity with the families of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran whose bodies are believed to be in a landfill near Winnipeg 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 behaviour) is showing that you can go and dump a native woman’s body because the government is not going to search.”

“They’re showing us we don’t matter and it’s just so sad.”

Monday’s action coincides with the day the House of Commons returns from summer holidays.

Events are being held across the country in Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Red Deer, Alta., Medicine Hat, Alta., Halifax, Vancouver, Victoria, B.C., Terrace, B.C., Prince George, B.C., Vanderhoof, B.C., New Denver, B.C., Charlottetown, P.E.I., Toronto, Ont., Timmins, Ont., Whitefish River First Nation, Ont., and North Battleford, Sask.

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Click to play video: 'Edmonton supporters bring dozens of red dresses to Winnipeg in solidarity with Camp Morgan'
Edmonton supporters bring dozens of red dresses to Winnipeg in solidarity with Camp Morgan

Manitoba Conservative premier, Heather Stefanson, has continued to deny search efforts at the landfill, citing cost, safety risks and no guaranteed success despite the union representing landfill workers saying there’s no reason the search can’t be done if proper precautions are taken.

And landfills have been searched before. In 2021, the remains of Nathaniel Brettell were found in an Ontario landfill after a several-month long search.

The province is in the midst of a provincial election and the landfill is a major campaign point — the Liberals say they’d pay half the cost of a $184 million search if elected while NDP promise they’ll do what Stefanson won’t, which is “try.”

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“It’s very exhausting, especially as a survivor, I know how it is,” said Pacey. “To go through something so violent and I wasn’t able to protect myself, there’s no protection and there’s a fear of safety for us every day, every single day.”

Monday’s events are for everyone and will include speeches, drumming, dances and marches. Those who can’t attend but want to support, are encouraged to wear red, say organizers.

“We need more people to get involved because they’re not listening to us here in Winnipeg. We’ve done rallies, marches, a blockade and its disheartening to feel like we’re trying to fight this alone,” said Pacey.

“This is an awareness and callout for support from across the country — its been done before, they’ve searched the landfill for other people so I don’t know why this can’t be done again.”

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