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Lindsey Bishop joins cross-country walk for MMIWG2S

The task will be emotionally, physically and spiritually hard for Bishop

SASKATOON — It has been almost two years since Megan Gallagher disappeared and her family is still searching for answers; hoping that new information of what happened to her might surface and praying that cases like this against Indigenous women would end.

Megan is another statistic, one of several still yet to be solved cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in the province alone. Her family continues to raise awareness of her and other MMIWGs by organizing various events like last year’s walk.

The Gallagher family, led by Megan’s father Brian, joined the family and friends of Ashley Morin — considered another MMIWG case — in making the more than 130-kilometre walk from Saskatoon to North Battleford last July and in December had a similar event in the Saskatoon.

Looking to continue raising awareness on the case of Megan and other MMIWGs, her sister Lindsey Bishop will be joining a cross-country walk that she hopes would further highlight the issues of abuse and violence against Indigenous women in the country.

Bishop, who took a year off from work, will leave for British Columbia this weekend to join the Annual Women’s Memorial March on Monday, Feb. 14, in Vancouver. She will then head to Victoria where her cross-country journey will begin on Feb. 18, Friday.

She said being asked by Krista Fox, another MMIWG advocate, what else she could do is what pushed her to make the big decision of taking on the grueling task.

“I need to do something more. Those words resonated with me because I [when] hit the streets here [Saskatoon], posted everywhere around the city, spoke to anybody that would listen to me to try and find out what happened to my sister,” said Bishop during a press briefing Friday afternoon at the Downtown Holiday Inn.

“And in doing that I've heard so many stories. I've seen so much hurt and I just need to do something more to help to fix something in the system that is broken.”

Bishop added that doing the cross-country walk would be hard for her — emotionally, physically and spiritually — but it would also be a big help in raising the issues surrounding MMIWG and Two-Spirited Peoples.

“I’m anxious. I’m excited to get going and it’s going to be a hard road, but I have a good team with me. Krista’s amazing being organized and she asked me to join her. They [family and friends] gave more reasons to do it. Bringing awareness across the country is a good first step in getting conversations started about everything that's going on and all the hurt that's going on in Canada,” she said.

“It is not just [MMIWG2S], it is generations of trauma that have led to this and generations of misinformation. Not talking and not having those conversations that have made it so that our communities women and girls are marginalized and taking advantage of they go missing at a high rate. So having those conversations especially across the nation, is a good start.”

Bishop said the walk is also a way for families that are hurting to connect.

“Bring together families who are hurting and let them know that they’re not alone. That there’s somebody that they can reach out to if they need a hug or just a word to probably somebody to listen on the phone with them quietly. Just to help heal quite a bit, knowing that you’re around other people that know what I’ve been going through as well.”

Brian Gallagher, Megan and Lindsey’s father, said a day does not go by of him not thinking about the whereabouts of his daughter to the point that he has mistaken someone to be Megan several times.

“The other day, I saw someone that looked and walked like her. She was the same build and she dresses like her. I looked at her twice and I started to tear up. I was at work, so I just have to go on. Someday, I would be driving and see someone who looks like Megan. It is something that never leaves you,” he said.

Métis Nation-Saskatchewan Women and Gender Equality Minister Loretta King will also travel to British Columbia later this month to see the group of walkers led by Bishop and Fox. She thanked Bishop’s family for supporting her decision to do the cross-country walk.

“Thank you [Lindsey] for raising awareness not only for your sister but for all the missing sisters. Thank you to [your family] for the strength and dedication to helping find answers to Megan’s disappearance. Our support is behind the national walk to raise awareness for all [MMIWG2s],” said King.

“[MN-S] continues to call for action. We need to talk about the national calls for justice. A disproportionate number of Indigenous women and girls fall victim to violence and the [real] numbers are hard to determine.”

Megan was last seen in the 100 block of Avenue P South at around 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2020. She has brown hair and eyes, and has several tattoos — the number 13 on her right hand, the names Jake and Adam beneath her arm, a cross behind her ear, coloured feather on her ankle, and a bear line tattoo on her left wrist.

The Gallagher family and the Saskatoon Police Service are asking the public to come forward if they have any information on Meghan’s whereabouts. The public can call SPS at 306.975.8300 or report online at SASKATOONPOLICESERVICE.ca or Crime Stoppers at 306.931.8477 or 1.800.222.8477.

The walk will be documented on social media channels, including TikTok and Facebook. Follow Lindsey at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100075449472125

and Krista at https://www.facebook.com/Kristas-Kilometres-for-MMIW-106665611488673. Lindsey is accepting e-transfer donations to support the walk at lyn_z01@hotmail.com.

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