(Membertou, NOVA SCOTIA): Lorraine Whitman, the President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is calling upon the RCMP in Nova Scotia to respond with increased urgency to the disappearance of 14-year-old Molly Martin, a member of the We’koqma’q Mi’kmaq First Nation who has not been seen since Thursday, August 13.
Ms. Whitman is in Membertou to support Molly’s extended family and the First Nations people who are combing the area in search of the girl.
Molly went missing from her foster care home last week and was subsequently seen on surveillance video at a gas station in Catalone, N.S. with Darcy Doyle, a middle-aged man who had been expelled from the We’koqma’q First Nation. The councillors said in their resolution calling for his removal that it was their duty to protect band members “especially children” and that Mr. Darcy “poses a threat to the safety, security and peace of the We’koqma’q First Nation.”
We’koqma’q Band Chief and Council have called upon police to issue an Amber Alert. However, an RCMP spokeswoman said Wednesday that no alert is being issued because there is no evidence that Molly was abducted, and the police believe she may have gone willingly with Mr. Darcy, who is known to her.
Because there has been no Amber Alert, the Band Chief and Council are offering a reward for any information that could help bring Molly home. The Band is also urging police to put a checkpoint at the causeway that would prevent the pair from leaving Cape Breton Island.
“This is shocking,” said Ms. Whitman. “This is a 14-year-old girl who is missing and, from all evidence, appears to be in some danger. Her community is distraught and confused by the apparent lack of concern on the part of the RCMP. It is time for the police to do everything in their power to find this girl and bring her to safety.”
Searchers on the ground say they have seen no RCMP officers joining them in their efforts.
The RCMP put out two statements about Molly’s disappearance but could not say Wednesday if any of their members had been dispatched to search for Molly. The police spokeswoman said the force has a helicopter at its disposal, but she did not know if it had yet been deployed to look for the missing girl.
Ms. Whitman said that response is not good enough.
“Too many of our young women go missing and, too many times, the police are late to respond,” she said.
In fact, Molly is just one of at least five Indigenous teenage girls who went missing across Canada in the past week. But the circumstances of her disappearance suggest she could be in peril and her situation seems especially dire, said Ms. Whitman.
“It is wrong to use bureaucratic rules as an excuse for not issuing an Amber Alert in cases like this,” said Ms. Whitman. “It is wrong for police to be so unconcerned when an Indigenous girl is gone for a week and her community members are left to search for her by themselves.”