Families of two missing Indigenous woman gather for annual awareness walk, continue to seek answers

Click to play video: 'Annual awareness walk sees families continue to seek answers about their missing loved ones'
Annual awareness walk sees families continue to seek answers about their missing loved ones
WATCH: Family and friends gathered for the annual Ashely Morin awareness walk. This year they added awareness for another missing Indigenous woman Megan Gallagher to the weekend-long walk from Saskatoon to North Battleford – Jul 9, 2021

Members of the Indigenous community, Saskatoon Police Service and the general public gathered at the police station for the third annual awareness walk.

The walk brings awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

This year’s walk featured two missing Indigenous women, Megan Gallagher and Ashley Morin.

“We know this has become an epidemic in recent times with our missing Indigenous women in Saskatchewan and across Canada,” said one of the Morin family members. “Any of our relatives that go missing leave many unanswered questions. We want to bring her home.”

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Morin was last seen in July of 2018 in North Battleford. She was 31-years-old at the time. Police are treating her disappearance as a homicide.

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Gallagher has been missing since September of 2020. The then 30-year-old mother was last seen on surveillance video at a convenience store in the 3700 block of Diefenbaker Driver in Saskatoon. Police add someone other than her used her cellphone to make a call the following day. Like Gallagher, her disappearance is allowed to be deemed a homicide.

The search continues for both as police and family say they can’t give up.

“We are also reminded that jurisdictional boundaries don’t apply when someone is missing from one of the families,” said Saskatoon police service chief Troy Cooper. “We are a community. Our compassion and care does not end just because of jurisdiction.”

“Bringing awareness to these cases is crucial.”

Megan Gallagher’s father Brian said a few words to the crowd on Friday morning. He says the family wasn’t going to miss the chance to be a part of the walk with the Morin family as it helps provide a sense of relief from the constant grief.

“Walking causes talking, talking causes healing, it allows you to rebuild yourself inside.”

Read more: Indigenous communities optimistic with newly-elected national chief

Last year, the search resumed for Morin along the North Saskatchewan River near North Battleford, searchers came away with nothing.

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Three years later and the pain runs deep for the Morin family members and friends. The support and help from the community coming together for these annual walks gives the family the drive and determination to never stop until Ashley is found. At one point, police did release a picture of van that could be connected to Ashley’s disappearance.

“Reach out, reach out to one of the families, to check on them once in a while,” said Krista Fox family spokesperson. “We will do this and we will do this together.”

Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand also spoke to the crowd before the walk, he stressed how important the awareness the walk raises during these incredibly difficult times.

“Never give up. For all the families who are hurting during this time, we are with you, we support you,” said Arcand. “Let’s lead by example in Saskatoon. It takes a community to raise a child.”

Read more: Monument honouring missing, murdered Indigenous women and girls unveiled in Prince Albert

The walk wraps up in North Battleford on Sunday.

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