The family of Frank Young is speaking publicly for the first time since his disappearance.

The 5-year-old went missing on April 19 from Red Earth Cree Nation and a large scale search effort has been underway since then.

“It’s been a long hard road for them” said Shoal Lake Cree Nation Chief Marcel Head speaking on Frank Young’s family at a media event in Prince Albert Monday morning.

Speaking on behalf of the family at the event was Frank’s auntie Teresa Whitecap who was joined at the podium by several members of the family.

“Speaking publicly is very difficult for the family,” said Whitecap. “We are overwhelmed by worry and grief and are overwhelmed by the public attention, but we are grateful for the support.”

Whitecap says once Frank went missing the community immediately reacted and the search efforts began.

She went on to speak more about Frank and what he means to the family.

“Frank was creative, he was fun loving…he has a little chipmunk voice,” she lovingly described.

Whitecap spoke on the family’s gratitude for a candlelight vigil held in Prince Albert on Saturday, and all the messages of support they have received from as far away as Australia.

“That really hit my hard, I didn’t realize there were other countries thinking about us, especially Frank.”

In the meantime, Indigenous leaders from Red Earth Cree Nation, the FSIN, and the PAGC are calling for more supports.

They say a request has been put in for military support and they are also calling on the provincial and federal governments to provide financial support.

“We will not stop until we find Frank,” said Red Earth Cree Nation Chief Fabian Head.