We join Indigenous communities across Turtle Island in solidarity, but especially Winnipeg’s Long Plain, O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi, and Lake St. Martin First Nations people grieving the loss of loved ones while facing institutional apathy. We honour and remember Linda Mary Beardy, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, Rebecca Contois, Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, and every Indigenous woman, girl, or 2 Spirit person who should have been able to live in safety.
Violence against Indigenous women is so pervasive that the government cannot account for how many are missing or have been murdered. They are 12 times more likely to be murdered or go missing than other women in Canada. Between 1956 and 2016, over 4,000 Indigenous women and girls have gone missing. This disastrous apathy perpetuates white supremacy and continuously retraumatizes Indigenous people.
Calling a landfill investigation too expensive or inconvenient is heartless. We cannot work toward Truth and Reconciliation while ignoring these ongoing tragedies. Nothing is more dehumanizing than being told that the lives of your loved ones and your grief do not matter. Indigenous lives matter, and every child matters.
Marginalized and equity-deserving communities have historically had to rely on themselves for protection as a result of institutional discrimination and bias. What’s happening in Winnipeg is just another example of Black, Indigenous, and racialized lives not being taken seriously by the system. There is no equity without solidarity, and we must be visible allies in Indigenous people’s fight for justice and safety.
We call on all levels of the Canadian government and the RCMP to do better. Listen to the voices and calls of the people you serve, and commit to better upholding the safety of Indigenous communities. Do your part for Truth and Reconciliation.