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Good morning. It’s James Keller in Calgary.

Winnipeg police have laid charges in the deaths of four women, all believed to be Indigenous, who investigators say died within weeks of each other earlier this year. Police have alleged the women were the victims of a serial killer.

The investigation began this spring with the discovery of the partial remains of Rebecca Contois, a 24-year-old woman from O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation, also known as Crane River. Her remains were found in two locations: first in a garbage bin outside a Winnipeg apartment building and then later at a local landfill.

Jeremy Skibicki was subsequently charged with first-degree murder in her death.

Winnipeg police announced this week that Mr. Skibicki now faces three additional murder charges for the deaths of Morgan Beatrice Harris, Mercedes Myran and an unidentified woman. Ms. Harris and Ms. Myran are Indigenous, both from the Long Plain First Nation south of Lake Winnipeg, and investigators believe the unidentified woman is also Indigenous.

Chief Danny Smyth of the Winnipeg police said the prospect of a serial killing is “unsettling,” and that the force is sensitive to the findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The inquiry’s final report, published in 2019, said Indigenous women are 12 times more likely to be murdered or missing than any other women in Canada and six times more likely to be murdered than non-Indigenous women. The inquiry cited an analysis from The Globe and Mail in 2015 that found Indigenous women are roughly seven times more likely than non-Indigenous women to die at the hands of serial killers.

Indigenous advocates say the women’s deaths in Winnipeg underscore the dangers faced by vulnerable women and girls. They are calling on governments to implement the 231 calls for justice outlined in the final report from the inquiry.

“I’m very angry at systems that have a responsibility to act and that are failing to act,” said Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, chair of the National Family and Survivors Circle.

She said governments need to “open their eyes and recognize the genocide that is continuing in this country.”

Ms. Harris’s daughter, Cambria Harris, said that she, too, is angered by the deaths of the four Indigenous women as she grieves her mother.

Cambria said that while Ms. Harris struggled deeply in the last 15 years of her life, she was also feisty and fun. Her mother was determined to make her feel special, she said.

“She was someone who was very, very loved.”

Mr. Skibicki appeared briefly in court Friday. He did not enter a plea, but his lawyer said he maintains his innocence and noted that a trial is likely some time away.

The Crown is proceeding by direct indictment, which means there will be no preliminary hearing. Mr. Skibicki remains in jail.

A high-school acquaintance of Mr. Skibicki said she recalls him making disparaging comments about Jewish and Indigenous students. The Globe is not identifying the woman because she feared for her safety.

By the time they entered their 20s, she and other friends distanced themselves from Mr. Skibicki entirely, she said.

The woman said Mr. Skibicki had Facebook profiles under a pseudonym where he posted extremist content.

Helmut-Harry Loewen, an anti-racism researcher and former University of Winnipeg professor, reviewed those social media accounts and said the overall messaging was aimed at encouraging followers to set up separatist communities.

With a report from The Canadian Press

This is the weekly Western Canada newsletter written by B.C. Editor Wendy Cox and Alberta Bureau Chief James Keller. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for it and all Globe newsletters here.