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To the Woman I Saw Walking to the Highway

A reflection for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls: 

I saw you first walking out of the hotel parking lot to the highway
You had your purse with you and a commitment to go as you zippered up your sweater, bracing yourself.
My first instinct was to yell out to you to not go but I don’t know why you were leaving, maybe it was worse to stay at the hotel on the highway.
Don’t walk to the city on the highway I still am thinking— 
I said a prayer for you in hopes that you are kept safe.
This is the world I live in.

As I drove past you, out of the parking lot, I tried to get a good look at you
In case your face comes across my newsfeed about a missing young Indigenous woman walking down the highway.
This is the world I live in.

I wondered if anyone else even saw you, thought about saying a prayer for you.
I wondered if anyone else knows the risk you took walking down the highway to get to the city from the hotel.
Did you know the risk or was it worse to stay at the hotel on the highway?
This is the world I live in, where thoughts of missing sisters, aunties, cousins and friends are constant and penetrate the bubble of safety I try to create for my family.

I picked up my family from the tournament game that was next to the hotel.
I saw you further down the highway as I was going home.
A thought flashed in my mind to give you a ride but I didn’t stop,
A fear of you kept me from doing that.
This is the world I live in, where even helping a stranger is risky to do, don’t get involved, stay safe.

I wondered if other people encounter situations that seem ordinary because of the world they live in, different from mine.
I wonder if they would have even seen the young woman,
Would they have given her a second thought or a second glance or known to offer a prayer of safety because in the world I live in, it could be my sister, my auntie, my cousin or my friend.


Decades of advocacy by Indigenous groups finally led to the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. It was a difficult and controversial process, but thousands of people offered their testimony to the panel, seeking justice for their loved ones and long-term solutions to the root causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

The panel released their summary recently. (Find it here.)

Join with Shannon and the Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee in praying for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and everyone affected by these situations, including the perpetrators.

Prayer changes things…perhaps even our own hearts.

Start praying for Indigenous women and girls 


[Image: Paul Green, on Unsplash]

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