(Mnidoo Mnising/Manitoulin Island, ON) – The U.C.C.M. Anishnaabe Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are inviting members of the community and surrounding area to join them on Thursday, October 4, 2018 for Missing Person Awareness Day. Missing Person Awareness Days are the result of funding provided by the Indigenous Justice Division of the Ministry of the Attorney General.
Missing Person Awareness Days provide an opportunity for the community and police to work together and remove barriers to reporting a missing person and help find or identify a loved one. Those attending will gain insight into the importance of reporting a person missing and will have the chance to provide information on unreported missing persons. There will also be an opportunity to collect DNA samples from family members of missing persons for identification purposes, if interested.
The all-day event will be held at 4 Directions Complex, Aundeck Omni Kaning. A sunrise ceremony will be held at approximately 7:30 a.m. and the day will end with a memorial vigil acknowledging those who are missing and for the unresolved murder cases from the area. Starting at 9:00 a.m., there will be presentations and workshops to share information about community action plans, missing and murdered Indigenous peoples, preventing child sexual abuse, living with grief/unresolved grief, cyber-safety and human trafficking indicators. Resources from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection regarding child safety will be shared at the event. Cultural support services will be provided by community Elders. Mental health supports will also be available.
While missing persons are usually reported to police by family members, you do not have to be a relative to report a person missing. There is also no time limit – all missing person investigations remain open until they are resolved. Even information about a person who went missing 30 years ago could provide important evidence to resolve an active case today.
If you have information about a missing person or need help to find a loved one and have not contacted the police, the Missing Person Awareness Day is your chance to do so. The information that you possess may help find or identify a missing person and bring a resolution to their family members and friends.
“We are extremely pleased and honoured to work with our partners in the UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service. We all have the same goal: to keep our communities safe. We hope that this Missing Person Awareness Day will help members of the community feel comfortable calling the police if they are worried about a friend or loved one.”
- OPP Commissioner J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes
“The U.C.C.M. Anishnaabe Police Service remain committed because the community is our family and the journey is our journey together.”
- Chief Rodney A. Nahwegahbow, U.C.C.M. Anishnaabe Police Service