Wiikwemkoong hosts missing persons awareness initiative

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WIIKWEMKOONG – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Wikwemikong Tribal Police Service (WTPS) held a missing persons awareness initiative at the arena and recreation centre in Wiikwemkoong recently, offering family members of missing persons the chance to learn more about the police forces’ programs to support them.

“The goal of this day is to share information and help bring resolution to an unidentified or missing person’s family or friends. The OPP are pleased that we’re supporting the Anishinabek of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and WTPS with this event to bring importance to any person that’s believed to be missing,” said Sergeant Shelly Tuck of the OPP’s Missing Persons and Unidentified Bodies Unit.

Although the event was closed to the press due to the sensitivity of the topics being discussed, a news release stated that attendees would learn the importance of reporting a person as missing, have the chance to provide information on unreported missing persons and, if they were related to a missing person, offer DNA samples to help with possible identification processes in the future. 

Members of the Mnidoo Mnising Crisis Response Team were present to offer support, and the presenters shared information from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection regarding child safety.

“This is a really informal event. Missing Person Awareness Day is an opportunity for the community and police to work together and remove barriers that could prevent someone from reporting someone as missing and helping to find or identify a loved one,” said Sgt. Tuck. “The Ontario Provincial Police understand and sympathize with every family who has experienced the loss of a loved one and are seeking a resolution.”

For anyone who may have missed the event but still wants more information on missing persons, especially if they know someone who is missing, Sgt. Tuck encouraged them to contact their local police service, such as WTPS, UCCM Police or the OPP, and they will be able to direct them further depending on their situation. 

WTPS can be reached at 705-859-3141, UCCM Police can be reached at 705-377-7135 and the OPP can be reached at 1-800-310-1122.