More than 4,000 people have signed a petition requesting that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cease blaming the Catholic Church for the country’s residential school system.
The residential school system was set up by the Canadian government, beginning in the 1870s, as a means of forcibly assimilating indigenous children and stripping them of familial and cultural ties. The Catholic Church or Catholics oversaw more than two-thirds of the schools.
“I am deeply disappointed in the comments you made on nationwide television on Friday calling for the Catholic Church to release records on the Residential School system,” says the petition, which was created in June on Change.org.
The petition’s writer is not named, but the petition was created by Catholic Equalizer, which describes themselves as “a group of Canadians who chose Catholicism in adulthood”.