The community of Wauzhushk Onigum, the Treaty Three Police Service and the OPP are hosting an information session for Missing Persons Awareness Day.
The all-day event will be held at the Wauzhushk Onigum Roundhouse at 10 a.m., and will be an opportunity for community members and police to work together and remove barriers to report a missing person, and to help find or identify a loved one. There will also be an opportunity to collect DNA samples from family members of missing persons for identification purposes
There will also be a presentation from the Kenora Sexual Assault Centre to increase awareness of human trafficking in the area. Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, accounting for more than two-thirds of cases nationally. Indigenous women and girls are among the most targeted and over-represented groups of trafficked individuals in the province. Most police-reported cases of human trafficking in Ontario involve sex trafficking.
“We are extremely pleased and honoured to work with our partners in the Treaty Three Police Service and the Ojibways of Wauzhushk Ongium,” said OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes.
“We all have the same goal: to keep our communities safe. We hope that this Missing Persons Awareness Day will help members of our community feel comfortable calling the police if they are worried about a friend or a loved one.”
Cultural support services will be provided by community elders at the event, as well as mental health supports and resources from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
Police add that while missing persons are usually reported to police by family members, you do not have to be a relative to report a missing person. There is also no time limit – all missing persons investigations remain open until they are solved.
The event is funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General and Indigenous Justice Division.
The Kenora Sexual Assault Centre has a 24 hour crisis and support line – 1-800-565-6161. The Sunset Area Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services has a toll-free line – 1-877-467-2815.
For more information:
Ending human trafficking
Bringing awareness to human trafficking