Indigenous people in Winnipeg are continuing to raise concerns and call on officials to search landfills for their missing and murdered relatives.
Among the Indigenous women they want found and brought home are Morgan Harris, 39, and Marcedes Myran, 26.
Police believe the women are victims of an alleged serial killer and that their remains could be in a landfill.
Two camps have been set up in efforts to keep pressure on officials and draw awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Two Spirit, and Gender-Diverse People.
On an August morning, firekeeper Shining Gold Star, who lives in Winnipeg, talks about Camp Marcedes, named after Marcedes Myran.
He’s been there since it was first set up in July in the city, next to the Canadian Museum For Human Rights.
“It’s to honor the missing and murdered especially the landfill, its focus is on search the landfill.”
Gold Star walks around the camp where there are a handful of tents and a camp kitchen.
Signs are posted all around – some read “we are not garbage,” “search the landfills,” and “no more stolen sisters.”
There are red handprints and art drawn on sidewalks and benches along walking paths near a river and park.
There are also a number of empty red dresses displayed, symbolizing those who’ve gone missing and murdered.
“The government does not want to look, not only are they in there, there are other people in there and they’ll have to explain things… I’ve had people come up to me with shovels from every community – black, white and blue – and they all say the same thing, we’ll do it.”
A more than 30 minute drive from Camp Marcedes is the city operated Brady landfill where distress flags fly at Camp Morgan, named after Morgan Harris.
There are also red dresses positioned around the camp, tents, a wigwam, and teepees.
Some people say they’ve been in the area since December while others like Ida Manuel, from British Columbia, felt compelled to come here this summer.
“My heart, going out to the families affected and I just had to answer that call. How could you, how could you be human any other way?”
Remains of Rebecca Contois, 24, another victim, were found at Brady last year.
A blockade at the road leading up to the landfill had previously been set up, but was dismantled.
Now, dumping continues.
“For us to stand and say we are not trash and still not be heard. You know, it really needs to be connected – Canada’s lack of respect… with colonialism set out to do to Indigenous.”
The other landfill, Prairie Green, is privately operated outside of Winnipeg.
The Manitoba government is citing costs, and health and safety concerns for not conducting a search at Prairie Green for Harris and Myran.
Advocates say they’re prepared to camp through the winter.
They’re also hoping new leadership of the province will be elected in October to offer assistance.
Last year, Jeremy Skibicki, 35 at the time, was charged for the murder of the three women and a fourth unidentified woman.
The Winnipeg Police Service are asking anyone with information about this investigation to contact the Homicide Unit at 204-986-6508.
NNN stringer Rhonda LeValdo contributed to this story. Photos taken at both camps and the Prairie Green landfill featured in slideshow:
The overall number of maternal deaths nationwide rose from more than 500 to more than 1,200.
That’s according to a recent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Black and American Indian and Alaska Native mothers had the highest number of deaths per 100,000 live births.
The rate for Black moms rose from about 27 to 55. The American Indian and Alaska Native rate rose from 14 to about 49.
Health experts say many factors play into these numbers, like a lack of services.
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