Ana Sofia de la Parra • Sept 22, 2023
Solidarity groups and individuals alike gathered before Parliament to make their voices heard on Monday. Many wore red dresses or bore face paint in the shape of a red handprint over the mouth.
This was the International Day of Action on Sept. 18, urging governments to search the landfills to return Indigenous women’s remains home.
The protestors spoke passionately about the missing and murdered women, and their communities’ wish to have their needs heard.
The Manitoba government has stood firm on its decision not to fund a search for these women’s remains within the Prairie Green landfill. They say the case against the man accused of killing the women could be affected and they cannot ensure the safety of the workers.
“My mother lies on a landfill as the city continues to dump trash in surrounding areas,” said Cambria Harris, the daughter of Morgan Harris.
She calls out that Indigenous girls are “not being valued by the government.” Harris notes that in the past ten months after being informed that her Mother was slain by a murderer, she has been let down by the same government that will boast their respect for these communities in about a week.
Sept. 30 is the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, commemorating the survivors and children who never returned home from residential schools. However, some protestors wondered how the day be called ‘Reconciliation’ when Indigenous communities are still hurting and the government fails them time and time again, seemingly indifferent to their voices and pleas.
Some said the day should be called ‘Truth and Recognition’ to finally acknowledge the crimes and suffering inflicted on these communities and families.
History has seen a kind of ignorant bliss in which the nation’s decision-makers live, praising reconciliation and the all-inclusive, first-world country that is so-called Canada.
In this protest, the speakers covered the safety, representation, and freedom of their communities. They asked: “How can Canada be a first-world country when so many people live in third-world country conditions?” They urge us to stand against the impractical way of ruling that has made racism and deep-rooted hate win against numerous women today, yesterday, and if we don’t take a stand, tomorrow as well.
Listen to this segment as featured on CHUO’s The Mosaic: