On Sunday, family, friends and supporters walked in memory of Megan Gallagher, who went missing exactly one year ago.
Hundreds gathered at Joe Gallagher Field, which is named after Megan’s late grandfather, to prepare for the walk.
The missing 30-year-old’s father, Brian Gallagher, hoped to bring awareness to Missing and Murdered Women, Girls and 2-Spirit People (MMIWG2S) with the walk — as well as to Megan’s case.
Ahead of the event, Brian says there has been more attention around his daughter’s disappearance because of the anniversary.
He added that it is hard to talk about it so many times a day and explain just how badly it still hurts.
“Emotionally we’re taxed, we’re tired, we’re drained. And that’s kind of what it does to you.”
After doing some research, he found out the statistics for MMIWG2S people, according to the National Inquiry’s Final Report, are shocking.
“If you are an Indigenous woman you are, according to the National Inquiry, 12 times more likely than a mainstream person to go missing. That’s staggering. Especially when you consider that our population numbers aren’t nearly the same as the mainstream population,” Brian said.
“The way that I have equated it is that I have two daughters and the reality is that that says that I was 24 times more likely than a mainstream person walking down the street to have to live through this, so is our family, and that’s one of the realities for Indigenous women and girls.”
During the event, Brian sent everyone off on the walk with a poem he wrote for his daughter to express how much he misses her and what feelings come up on the anniversary of the last time someone was in contact with her.
One of the parts of his poem reads, “Megan, where are you? I need to hear your voice, I need to give you a hug. Megan, where are you? Everyone is crying.”
The last update in Megan’s case was in May when the Saskatoon Police Service released an audio recording linked to Megan’s disappearance.
According to Brian, the walk has one common theme for people dealing with the horror of a missing family member.
“Personally for our family, the theme that has been chosen is the silence is killing us. And literally, it is.”
The group walked from Joe Gallagher Field before ending at River Landing Park, where they had food and refreshments available for everyone participating.
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