A search for the remains of two First Nations women at a Winnipeg-area landfill could take up to three years and cost $184 million, says a study examining whether a successful search is possible.
The study, obtained by The Canadian Press, looked at the various scenarios and challenges that come with searching a landfill and concluded a canvass of the Prairie Green Landfill is feasible.
It warns there are “considerable risks” due to exposure to toxic chemicals and asbestos. But it says forgoing a search could be more harmful for the families of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran.
“Not conducting the search could cause considerable distress to victim family members,” the report says.
“The impact of not conducting a search and humanitarian recovery for remains of Morgan and Marcedes, when it is possible that they are in the Prairie Green Landfill, could have long-lasting repercussions on the families, friends, loved ones and First Nations and Indigenous communities in Manitoba and across Canada.”
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and representatives from Long Plain First Nation, to which Harris and Myran belonged, are to hold a news conference Friday about the study.
An Indigenous-led committee spearheaded by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs commissioned the study after Winnipeg police said in December that they believed the remains of Harris and Myran are in the landfill north of the city. But police said they would not be searching the site because of the passage of time and the large volume of material deposited there.