A petition calling for a National Day of Mourning for Children found buried at a former B.C. residential school has topped 27,600 signatures as of Monday (May 31) morning.
The petition comes after the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation discovered the bodies of 215 Indigenous children buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on Thursday.
The residential school was operated by the Catholic Church from 1890 to 1969 and had as many as 500 children enrolled at one time. The feds then took over the facility and ran it as a day school until it closed down in 1978.
The petition is directed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller, and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett.
“Survivors of residential schools and their families carry the burden of this tragedy and it is due time that Canada as a whole also share this burden. These deaths impact every person in this land and so it’s important that we all come together to mourn,” the petition reads.
“To mourn together is to heal together. Let us all come together to remember all those impacted by the horrors of the genocide committed on these young souls, and let’s do so in the spirit of true reconciliation.”
The Indian Residential School Survivors Society is offering toll-free 24-hour telephone support for survivors and their families at 1 (866) 925-4419. Alternately, you can reach out to the KUU-US Crisis Line Society 24-hour line at 1-800-588-8717.