First Nations Organizations join with Police Services to Launch ‘Am I Missing?’ Campaign in Sioux Lookout

First Nations organizations joined with police services to launch the ‘Am I Missing?’ campaign in Sioux Lookout during a virtual event held today.

The campaign highlights three important steps that should be taken before calling on the police for assistance to locate a missing person:

  1. Try to Find Me: Contact friends or other family members of the missing person. Are there places the missing person typically visits?
  2. Assess the Risk: Is there a reason to believe the missing person could be in danger? If you aren’t certain, it’s best to trust your instinct.
  3. Call Police: When attempts to find a missing person haven’t been successful, and a person believes the missing person is at risk, they should call police at 1-888-310-1122 and file a missing person report.

First launched in Thunder Bay in 2018, the ‘Am I Missing?’ campaign was developed in response to Recommendation 91 from the Seven Youth Inquest, which examined the circumstances into the deaths of Jethro Anderson, Curran Strang, Paul Panacheese, Robyn Harper, Reggie Bushie, Kyle Morrisseau and Jordan Wabasse. The campaign features public service announcements including a video, ads and other material to guide the public through the steps that should be taken before requesting police intervention. The campaign also attempts to dispel common myths, including the need to wait 24-48 hours before reporting a person missing.

The launch in Sioux Lookout is to increase awareness in urban communities where NAN youth attend school and where people from NAN First Nations reside. Partners include Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Nishnawbe Aski Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Northern Nishnawbe Education Council, Shibogama First Nations Council, Windigo First Nations Council, Independent First Nations Alliance, and the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Board of Education.

“It is very important to increase awareness about missing persons protocols. I am pleased to partner with the Ontario Provincial Police, Nishnawbe Aski Police Service and all other partners who are involved in helping to increase safety for people from NAN communities. There is a common misconception that you have to wait 24 or 48 hours before a person can be reported missing. This is not true, and knowing this could make all the difference in some cases,” said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox.

“The safety of Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a priority of the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service and we are honoured to partner in the ‘Am I Missing?’ campaign. The Nishnawbe Aski Police Service is eager to help increase awareness on how to report a missing person to the police by working as a resource for the people from Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory and as a liaison with policing partners to ensure the safety to the membership of Nishnawbe Aski Nation,” said Nishnawbe Aski Police Service Chief Roland Morrison.

“It is the mission of the Ontario Provincial Police to serve our province by protecting its citizens. In order to protect the most vulnerable, we need to ensure that the public can identify if someone is missing and in danger, and then know how to take the appropriate steps to report to police. In missing persons investigations, the first few hours are critical. Partnering with Nishnawbe Aski Nation, NNEC, and organizations and other police agencies in promoting the ‘Am I Missing?’ Campaign is an important step to getting this information out to the community,” said Sioux Lookout Ontario Provincial Police Detachment Commander Dayna Wellock.

“We are pleased to be a part of the ‘Am I Missing?’ Campaign. This initiative provides critical information for our community membership, both on and off-reserve, as well as to our frontline staff and boarding home parents, on identifying risk factors and when to contact their local police service. The safety and security of our membership, especially our students, is of utmost importance to their families, communities, and our organizations. The impact of the losses to our families and organizations continues to resonate with us, and the call for change is reflected extensively in the Seven Youth Inquest and its recommendations. We appreciate the support and participation of the Ontario Provincial Police and Nishnawbe Aski Police Service, and acknowledge Thunder Bay Police Service, in their ongoing efforts to increase awareness and education on the Missing Persons legislation through this initiative,” said Keewaytinook Okimakanak Board of Education Director Jonathan Kakegamic.

More information:

For more information please contact:
Michael Heintzman,
Director of Communications
Cell: (807) 621-2790