NationTalk: Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) wishes to announce the unequivocal support received from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in response to the urgent calls to recover the remains of Marcedes Myran, Morgan Harris, and Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman) at two Winnipeg landfills.
The CMHR’s letter of strong support highlights the deep human rights implications of the situation. Moreover, the letter references the fundamental principles of human dignity and equality, Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts the inherent rights and equality of all individuals. As well, Article 12 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples solidifies the right of Indigenous communities to access the remains of their ancestors. This perspective resonates across various human rights laws, emphasizing the universal value of treating the deceased with dignity and affording their families the respect they deserve.
“As we engage in ongoing conversations regarding search logistics, the AMC draws inspiration from the CMHR’s affirmation of the critical importance of human rights,” said AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick.
The AMC extends its heartfelt gratitude to the CMHR for its guardianship of the sacred bundle from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This collection encapsulates countless artistic expressions that emerged during the National Inquiry, crafted by survivors, family members, artists, and allies. Most noteworthy, as one of Canada’s esteemed national institutions, the CMHR shoulders the responsibility of fostering dialogues that explore and reflect upon matters of human rights.
Through this role, the AMC recognizes the duty to commemorate those who have been victims of violence and to advocate for the rectification of historical injustices suffered by First Nations at the hands of colonial institutions and systems. The ongoing situation underscores the crucial need to address the dissonance between Canada’s treatment of First Nations and the universal dignity underpinning our national commitment to human rights.
The AMC commends the tireless advocacy efforts of MMIWG2S+ families and their supporters, whose dedication has illuminated the ongoing epidemic of violence. “This serves as a poignant reminder that Canada must address the systemic injustices stemming from colonization, racism, discrimination, and misogyny. Specifically, the imperative to revisit and uphold the relationships established through Treaty is undeniable, and the repercussions of inaction, as demonstrated by the province, cannot be underestimated,” concluded Grand Chief Merrick.
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Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) peoples.