Sue Caribou, seen here at the Brady Road Landfill protest and blockade on Monday, July 10, 2023, has believed for more than 10 years that the remains of her niece Tanya Nepinak lie somewhere in the Brady Landfill, and that is why she said it was so important that she join other protesters this week to hold the line on a blockade and protest that the city has ordered be shut down Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Sue Caribou has believed for more than a decade that her niece’s remains lie somewhere in the Brady Road Landfill, and that is why she said it was so important that she join other protesters this week to hold the line on a blockade and protest that the city has ordered be shut down.
“I’m Tanya’s voice, and without that she doesn’t have a voice, and she’ll be forgotten,” Caribou said on Monday about her niece Tanya Nepinak, while standing defiantly at the Brady Road Landfill in Winnipeg.
Protesters first began blockading the main road into the landfill on Thursday, as they continue to ask that the facility, as well as the Prairie Green Landfill near Stony Mountain, be searched for human remains of missing Indigenous women.
As of Tuesday, the blockade remained in place despite orders from the city of Winnipeg that it be dismantled by Monday at noon, a deadline that has now come and gone, and according to some who remained on the scene on Tuesday afternoon there had still been no police presence at or near the landfill, although they are aware that the city is now seeking a court injunction.
On Monday, as Caribou stood with protesters, she said she wants people to remember that she was told more than 10 years ago by police that her niece’s remains are likely in the Brady Road Landfill, and that is why she believes the blockade should remain in place.
“I would ask what anyone would do if this was their niece, or their wife, or their daughter,” Caribou said. “The pain never subsides, because we’ve never had the remains found, so we can’t properly lay Tanya to rest.”
Tanya Nepinak has not been seen or heard from since Sept. 13, 2011, when she stepped out of her Winnipeg home where she lived with her mom, and told her mom she was heading to a nearby restaurant to get pizza.
And while Nepinak’s remains have not been recovered in the more than 10 years she has been missing, police have told her family that they believe she was a victim of serial killer Sean Lamb and that there is a good chance her remains are in the Brady Landfill.
In 2012, Lamb was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Nepinak, as well as the deaths of 18-year-old Carolyn Sinclair, and 25-year old Lorna Blacksmith. But while Lamb was convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of both Sinclair and Blacksmith and is currently serving a 20-year sentence, charges against him in the case of Nepinak’s death were stayed.
Caribou said she believes it is now time for the landfill in Winnipeg to be completely shut down and searched for human remains, and that many of the protesters now at the scene won’t move unless a search is agreed upon.
“I’ve been fighting for Tanya for a long time, and I’m not going to give up now,” she said.
The blockade began Thursday after the Manitoba government’s decision against searching Prairie Green Landfill, where the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran are believed to have been dumped.
Jeremy Skibicki faces first-degree murder charges in their deaths, as well as for the death of Rebecca Contois, whose remains were found last year at Brady Road, and the death of an unidentified woman that Indigenous leaders are calling Buffalo Woman, and whose remains have not been found.
By: Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun