It's devastating. I have spoken to the family of one of the victims. They are having to search the trash for their mother. No one should have to do that, and no one should be treated like trash in this country—in this case, it's taken on a very literal meaning. This is a space where, as far as we know or have been told, there are now human remains. I think it needs to be treated accordingly.
There are a number of facts I still don't have, and I need to get to the bottom of those.
I absolutely support these women in finding their mother, or in honouring her, should there be no ability to find the actual remains. That, I think, is the work we'll have to do. I am in communication with the mayor of Winnipeg and other folks to make sure these women are heard and treated with dignity and respect in a very difficult time. This is a site that has had successive deposits of refuse since July, when they appeared to know there were bodies there.
I don't discount the complexities of it, but we need to make sure in this country that we aren't treating people like trash. If there is a way to search, I think the efforts should be deployed. If that can't be done, we need to find a way to properly honour them. These are evolving conversations with the families. They may reinforce their perspective or change it, and I want to respect that space while that final determination is made.
I left the conversation with the family yesterday with a lot more questions than I thought I had in the first place. I'm still questioning a lot of things. I think we all should, as a country, when this happens, because for too long, indigenous people have not been treated the same way as other people when they go missing and turn out to be murdered.