FORT WILLIAM FN – Fort William First Nation, the Anishinabek Police Service, the Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are inviting members of the community and surrounding area to join them on Friday, September 7, 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.
“We are extremely pleased and honoured to work with our partners in the Anishnabek Police Service, Fort William First Nation and Dilico Anishnabek Family Care. 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,” says OPP Commissioner J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes.
The all-day event will be held at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care (200 Anemki Place, Boardroom, Fort William First Nation, Ontario) starting at 9:00 a.m. and concluding at approximately 3:00 p.m. It will be 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. There will also be a presentation from the OPP’s Anti-Human Trafficking Coordination Team to increase awareness regarding human trafficking.
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 required.
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.
Cultural support services will be provided by community Elders. Mental health supports will also be available. Resources from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection regarding child safety will be shared at the event.
If you have information about a missing person or need help to find a loved one and have not contacted the police, then 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.
I wish to acknowledge and commend our partners for bringing forth increased awareness surrounding Missing Persons and Human Trafficking. It is my hope, that with efforts such as these it will help to assist our officers in their searches when tragedies hit our community. It is important that all of us work together and educate ourselves so that they can respond, find and solve these cases.” states Chief Peter Collins, Fort William First Nation.