Manitoba‘s Minister of Families, Accessibility, and Gender Equity, Nahanni Fontaine, has reaffirmed the province’s commitment to expeditiously search for the remains of two Indigenous women at a landfill site near Winnipeg.
Fontaine, a member of the Sagkeeng Anishinaabe First Nation, expressed empathy for the families enduring the agonizing wait for closure, acknowledging the excruciating nature of the delay.
After the Winnipeg police identified the landfill believed to hold the women’s remains in December 2022, the delay has been attributed to health and safety concerns, resulting in the recent outcry by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs over the prolonged inaction.
The former Premier Heather Stefanson’s government halted the search citing hazardous materials, a decision that stirred controversy and political backlash, including complaints filed by Cambria Harris, daughter of one of the victims, Morgan Harris.
Fontaine’s NDP government aims to present a detailed plan to the affected families soon, outlining the complex logistics of the search operation.
Long-time advocate Sandra DeLaronde emphasized the urgent need to address the systemic violence against Indigenous women, underscoring the importance of recognizing their humanity and ensuring justice.
Despite the challenges and delays, Fontaine remains resolute in the government’s determination to conduct the search, acknowledging the national significance of the issue and the imperative to prevent further tragedies.
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