SASKATOON — Brian Gallagher and several community leaders urged the public to speak up and come forward if they know something about the numerous files for missing persons being investigated by local and provincial law enforcement, especially the cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Megan Gallagher was one of those cases before her remains were found and identified last year.
Family, friends, and supporters joined Gallagher and his wife Debbie for Megan’s Memorial Walk on Sunday, Sept. 17. They gathered at the Joe Gallagher Field in Gordie Howe Sports Complex at 9:30 a.m. where Gallagher, Mayor Charlie Clark, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. President Shirley Isbister, and Saskatoon Police Service Deputy Chief Cam McBride delivered some remarks.
The Gallagher family, their friends and supporters have attended more than 150 court proceedings since charges were filed against the 10 accused of killing Megan. It might take years before they get the justice they have been looking for and the perpetrators get their sentences for Indignities to Human Remains.
Gallagher, who helped organize the walk to provide support and comfort to other families who are still waiting for closure, said people who could have come forward and have information on the cases like what happened to his daughter Megan could have helped a lot of families and eased the pain of losing a loved one.
“You could have eased their pain right now. If you have any information, no matter how insignificant you think it is, share it with somebody. If you don’t dare to share it with the police or agencies, share it with a friend so they can share it with those agencies. In any way, you can get that message forward so that families can move on and lessen their pain. Too often, our loved ones are taken, and many cases are not solved,” said Gallagher.
“Many families suffer immeasurable pain, and the reality is that there are people out there who have information. Information that could allow the families to move to this place I call a special kind of hell. There are no words to describe it. They remain silent to protect themselves by a bond or feat that they may be damaged in the process. I don’t know how to express how wrong this is. So, if you have information, share it.”
He added that based on their experience, the people who broke their silence and shared information made a difference in helping their families move forward with their healing journey. He honours people who come forward as they overcome their feat and decide to make a difference.
Clark said what the Gallagher family has gone through is the same thing that many families who are still missing their loved ones are experiencing, which is why support must continuously be given to them, like what Isbister and Saskatoon Police Service Missing Person Liaison Officer Dorthea Swiftwolfe have been doing, and the organization Iskwewuk e-wichiwitochik.
“You make a difference in people’s lives. I also want to recognize Melissa Cote, working with the Indigenous Initiatives at the City of Saskatoon. She is working thoughtfully and carefully to help us build the Office of the Matriarch as our response as a city to the calls to justice of the [MMIWG] report. We have way too many families that are affected,” said Clark.
“We have more work to create systems to support young girls and Two-Spirit community members who must ensure they are safe and protected. That they can live a good life here and not in fear.”