Matawa First Nations Management (MFNM) in Thunder Bay, Ont. and Matawa Learning Centre (MLC) today acknowledged the launch of a missing person campaign in response to the Seven Youth Inquest Recommendation 91.
The ’Am I Missing?’ campaign was created through a partnership with representatives from the City of Thunder Bay, Dennis Franklin Cromarty 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.
Recommendation 91 from the Seven Youth Inquest recommended the establishment of a working group to discuss and implement best practices in order to ensure timely reporting of a missing student and consistent practice among the organizations involved when students are reported missing or during sudden death investigations.
The goal of the working group is to effectively and collaboratively develop the deliverables identified under Recommendation 91. Deliverables include policies, procedures, forms, search plans, interviews, press releases, staff training and public awareness.
“As part of the public awareness deliverable, MFNM and MLC are pleased to have been part of the process of implementing this recommendation and launching this campaign,” said David Paul Achneepineskum, MFNM CEO.
“Overall, it will provide a sense of comfort for our children, parents and grandparents that the city and partners are working together to follow a protocol to ensure the health and safety for all. We are particularly pleased that everyone is aware of what steps will be taken in cases of reporting on missing youth and what takes place to find missing persons,” he added.
The campaign launch featured the release of a PSA video and accompanying literature that workns to help the public better understand the process of reporting a missing person. It examines and attempts to dispel myths, such as the idea of waiting 24-to-48 hours before filing a missing person report.