Families of missing Sask. Indigenous women gather for hat birthday celebration

Saturday marked another difficult day for Brian Gallagher.

Every day has been tough for Gallagher ever since his daughter Megan went missing in September 2020.

Dozens of people joined the Gallaghers at Kinsmen Park in Saskatoon, one of Megan’s favorite places, on her 32nd birthday.

“We would often sit here and have cake and ice cream and things like that. So it’s a very special place for us and having all of these people here today join us for something special (is) very, very heartwarming,” Gallagher said during the birthday barbecue.

Megan’s sister Lindsay Bishop and Krista Fox started walking from Victoria in February with the goal of going across the country to raise awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Fox is walking for her niece, Ashley Morin, who was last seen in North Battleford in 2018. She was joined by the family of Colton Boushie and others working to get their girls home safely.

“The Creator I believe played a part in bringing us here so that we will arrive on Megan’s birthday and to have other families join us. That’s what this walk is all about…. connecting families,” Fox said.

Fox said days like this are extremely important to learn and share stories, but that doesn’t make them any easier to hear each time.

“Grief doesn’t get easier. The days keep adding up. The mornings keep coming and our loved ones still aren’t here with us,” Fox said. “What this does today is show the strength and (it) gives us strength.”

Fox and Bishop continue their walk on Tuesday and expect to arrive in St. John’s, Newfoundland by December, but when they get to Ottawa Fox hopes she can get the attention of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“What I plan to do is share the stories that have been shared with me and see if he could walk away from that table and feel the same way,” she said.

Gallagher says sharing stories and raising awareness about missing and murdered indigenous women is one way of closing the gap and making circumstances better for future generations.

According to The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released in 2019, Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to go missing than a non-Indigenous person.

“I don’t know how to stress the importance of that as we were raising our children to make them aware of this. That awareness needs to go further than that and it needs to go to the rest of the rest of society,” Gallagher said.

Fox and Bishop continue their journey on Tuesday hoping that other birthday celebrations won’t have any missing family members.

“We have many, many memories. Some of them are challenging, but when I see people coming out and supporting us like this, it just warms my heart and it makes the day very much worth while.”

Leave a Comment