Brady landfill to reopen after deal reached with protesters
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The blockade of Winnipeg’s only active landfill has ended after members of a protest encampment agreed to a compromise in which they will remain along the roadway near the facility’s entrance.
The Brady Road landfill will reopen to the public Friday, the City of Winnipeg announced Thursday.
“Since the camp set up base, our warriors did not block any vehicles from dumping at the landfill. The city themselves made the choice to lock the gates to dumping at the site,” Cambria Harris wrote in a text message following the announcement.
“While we are in (disagreement) to the continuing of dumping, we will not blockade it and stop others from doing so.”
Harris is the daughter of Morgan Harris, one of four women believed to have been killed by alleged serial killer Jeremy Skibicki.
Skibicki is charged in connection to the deaths of Rebecca Contois, Marcedes Myran, Morgan Harris and a fourth unidentified person known as Buffalo Woman.
Harris’s family and their supporters believe the remains of their loved ones are in the Brady landfill, where police found partial remains of Contois in June.
The group has remained on site since Dec. 18, and will not move until a search for missing and slain women, including victims of the alleged serial killer, takes place, Harris said.
However, Winnipeg police suspect the remains of Morgan Harris, Myran and the fourth victim are at the privately owned Prairie Green landfill north of the city.
Police believe the remains were disposed of there in May and have since been buried beneath many tonnes of waste and packed clay.
The decision to reopen Brady comes after consultations with Indigenous stakeholders and the families of missing and slain Indigenous women and girls who believe their loved ones are buried there, the city said.
“It’s through these discussions and through their co-operation that we were able to reach a compromise, one which supports the right to peacefully protest while allowing the Brady Road Resource Management Facility to reopen to members of the public,” the city said in a release.
Skibicki, who was already charged in the slaying of Contois, was charged with three additional counts of first-degree murder in relation to the other women on Dec. 1.
Shortly after, Waste Connections of Canada, which owns Prairie Green, halted operations. On Dec. 30, partial operations resumed, but the section where the remains are believed to be has been cordoned off.
An Indigenous-led study to determine the feasibility of searching the Prairie Green site is ongoing.
Harris said a member of her family is participating in the study, but she could not reveal additional details.
The group continues to burn a sacred fire honouring the missing women at the Brady site, she said.
“We plan to have camp set up until the search is done. In the meantime we will continue raising awareness of our situation to whomever visits the landfill… Anyone who wants to come out and support the Warriors at Camp Morgan are welcome to do so.”
Updated on Thursday, January 5, 2023 8:21 PM CST: Adds comments from Cambria Harris, fixes typos
Updated on Friday, January 6, 2023 7:32 AM CST: Clarifies the City of Winnipeg's statement to reflect it is the families of MMIWG who believe their loved ones are buried in Brady landfill, not the city