Protesters from Victoria to Halifax will gather in front of their local government buildings tomorrow to demand that the Manitoba government take action and search a landfill for the remains of four Indigenous women. The call for justice comes after allegations that the women were killed by one man, with their bodies believed to be buried in the landfill. The Indigenous Day of Action, organized by Tara Martinez, aims to draw attention to the issue and compel the government to sift through over 61,000 tonnes of trash.
While the support shown by the community is heartening for Martinez, she laments the fact that such an endeavor is necessary. Cambria Harris, daughter of one of the victims, shares her mother’s determination and vows to continue fighting for justice.
The government’s response has been mixed. Progressive Conservative party leader Heather Stefanson cites health and safety risks as the reason for her refusal to support a search, while the Manitoba Liberal Party has pledged to provide 50% of the estimated cost of $184 million if they come to power after the upcoming election. NDP leader Wab Kinew promises to make an effort if elected.
The event not only highlights the urgent need for justice for these specific cases but also ignites conversations about reconciliation and the value of Indigenous lives. Priscilla Omulo, organizer of the demonstration in Victoria, emphasizes the importance of bringing the women home to their families as a genuine step towards reconciliation.
While some may question the feasibility of searching a landfill, past successes have shown that it is possible. In 2021, the remains of Nathaniel Brettell were found in an Ontario landfill after an extensive search.
The families of the slain Indigenous women hope that their calls for justice will be heard and that this search will mark the beginning of a larger movement towards accountability and respect for Indigenous lives. They refuse to stay silent and will continue to fight until their loved ones are brought home.