An emergency debate called for for murdered or missing Indigenous women

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Emergency debate called for murdered or missing Indigenous women

Leah Gazan and Niki Ashton call out to Ottawa after murders of four Indigenous women in Winnipeg.

New Democrat MP Leah Gazan stands during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Monday, December 5, 2022.

In the House of Commons on Monday, two New Democratic Party MPs from Manitoba called for an emergency debate to be held in response to the crisis of violence against Indigenous women in Winnipeg. They want to urge the government to help find the bodies of victims of a suspected serial killer.

Request from MPs for Winnipeg Center and Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, Leah Gazan and Niki Ashton follows Winnipeg Police's announcement last week about murders of Indigenous women.

Police have brought additional charges against a suspected serial killer for the murders of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran and an unidentified woman, henceforth referred to as Mashkode Bizhiki'ikwe (Buffalo Woman, bison woman). ) by the police at the request of the elders. Last spring, the same man was also charged with the murder of Rebecca Contois.

Our community is in mourning. We have lost our sisters. […]To close this chapter and mourn, we need resources and support to search for the bodies of these women. According to the police, they could end up in the Brady landfill. I am asking for resources to find them and help with the bereavement, said Leah Gazan, Monday afternoon.

As for the request for the emergency debate, the president of the Chamber, Anthony Rota, replied that he was not convinced that this request met the criteria of the regulations.

Last week, Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth said during the search for Rebecca Contois's remains, a specific area of ​​the landfill was identified. This time he claims that too much time has passed. We have no starting point. It would not be a feasible search at this point.

During question period, Leah Gazan criticized the decision of the police not to search for the remains.

In response, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller said he was very puzzled to learn that police had no intention of searching the dump. He said he hoped to get clear answers about the decision soon. He says he spoke to the mayor of Winnipeg on Sunday.

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Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, said Mr. Miller. It is clear that the federal government must play a role while the different political jurisdictions are poison words.

Mr. Miller says he plans to convene a January meeting with federal, provincial and Indigenous officials on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Congresswoman Niki Ashton meanwhile called for a comprehensive federal response, including funding to support emergency shelters and fight white supremacism.

The accused expressed his support for openly racist and misogynistic groups on social networks.

People gathered for a vigil in memory of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls at the Oodena Celebration Circle in The Forks on Sunday.

At a rally yesterday at The Forks in Winnipeg, about 100 people demanded that a state of emergency be declared.

Manitoba MLA Bernadette Smith, whose sister has been missing since 2008, says genocide is underway.

For Bernadette Smith, it We must at all costs continue the search to find the bodies.

We ask the federal government to continue the search around the dump where the body is said to be and to send the body. armed if necessary. This is an important gesture for the family.

The families of the victims appeal for the support of all Canadians, to share their fight.

With information from Jérémie Bergeron and Victor Lhoest

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