Petition calling for 'National Day of Mourning' for residential school victims grows | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Petition calling for 'National Day of Mourning' for residential school victims grows

Teddy bears on display at Kelowna Courthouse to show support for those grieving unmarked burial site of 215 children near Kamloops Residential School.
June 04, 2021 - 1:04 PM

A petition calling for a national day of mourning to recognize victims of Canada's residential schools has gathered more than 200,000 online signatures.

"I respectfully ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call for a National Day of Mourning for the lost children of residential school and the 215 lost loved ones found by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community," the petition web page reads.

The petition has been ongoing since Tk'emlups te Secwepemc announced it found 215 children buried near the former Kamloops Residential School, which soon raised apologies and statements from government and church leaders across the country.

READ MORE: Royal assent given to bill creating national day for truth and reconciliation

Since then, support for the Tk'emlups community has poured out from the Kamloops area, and across the country, with calls for similar studies to be expanded to search for burials at more residential schools.

"Thank you for the outpouring of support. It is very much appreciated," Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir said in a Friday morning press conference. "The city of Kamloops has been very supportive. The city of Kamloops businesses have displayed teddy bears in their windows and have also sent letters. There are all sorts of businesses supporting us in all sorts of ways, and we are very appreciative."

In the June 4 press conference, she called for June 6 to be a national day of prayer to "truly honour the children."

The petition does not signify a specific date, but it continues to gather attention as the signature list grows.

READ MORE: Experts urge learning truth about residential schools

"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," 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."

As the petition gathers signatures, it will eventually be sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyne Bennett.

The petition page can be found here, at

If you find yourself in need of support please contact one of these organizations:

Indian Residential School Survivors: 1-800-721-0066

KUU-US Indigenous crisis line - available 24 hours
Youth Line: 250-723-2040
Adult Line: 250-723-4050

Residential School Crisis line - available 24 hours: 1-866-925-4419

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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