An Am I Missing? campaign featuring the release of a public service announcement video with information on identifying and reporting a missing person was launched on June 26 in Thunder Bay. The campaign was developed in response to Recommendation 91 from the Seven Youth Inquest by a partnership that includes the City of Thunder Bay and a group of 10 agencies and organizations in Thunder Bay.
“Matawa Learning Centre was a part of that,” says David Paul Achneepineskum, CEO of Matawa First Nations Management. “We certainly were involved with the city and others in trying to implement some of the recommendations that impact our students.”
In addition to the city, the partnership includes Dennis Franklin Cromarty First Nations High School, Independent First Nations Alliance, Keewaytinook Okimakanak, Matawa Learning Centre, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Nishnawbe-Aski
Police Service, Northern Nishnawbe Education Council, Shibogama First Nations Council, Thunder Bay Police Service and Windigo First Nations Council.
“It’s going to be a public awareness tool that everyone can use,” Achneepineskum says. “It’s just to try to build more awareness for the students when they come out to attend high school in Thunder Bay and to try to build better health and safety for them. But it’s also for parents, grandparents, caregivers. It’s going to be a great tool that we can use for building public awareness.”
The public service announcement video and accompanying material are designed to dispel myths, such as the need to wait 24-48 hours before reporting a missing person, and to promote awareness about what to do before requesting police intervention.
“For example, if the Matawa Learning Centre finds one of their students is missing and they are nowhere to be found, then we would put into action our own internal search callout to their contacts,” Achneepineskum says. “If the student is not to be found, then we would initiate the missing person’s protocol and contact Thunder Bay Police and others that there is a missing person.”
The Am I Missing? campaign includes information on the three steps that should be taken before calling police about a missing person.
Step one is to try to find the missing person by contacting friends and family and checking areas that the missing person typically frequents.
Step two is to assess the risk by determining if there is a reason to believe the missing person could be in danger. If people are not sure, they are encouraged to trust their instincts.
Step three is to call the Thunder Bay Police Service at 807-684-1200 to file a missing person report when attempts to locate the missing person have failed and people believe they are at risk.
People are also encouraged to consider whether there is any reason to believe the missing person is in immediate danger, and if so to call 911.
Some of the risk factors to consider are: do they have a visible or non-visible disability, are they elderly or very young, are they dependent on prescription medications, are they unfamiliar with the city, are they a wanderer or Alzheimer patient or are they associated with violent behaviour.
Information about the campaign is available online at: www.thunderbaypolice.ca/amimissing?utm_source=tbnewswatch.com&utm_campai....
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