07/20/2015 12:09 EDT | Updated 07/20/2016 05:59 EDT

Petition Calls For Truth And Reconciliation Commission To Be Election Issue

WINNIPEG - A petition that calls on all political parties to incorporate the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into their election platforms has more than 1,200 signatures.

The petition, which is spearheaded by three professors at the University of Manitoba, calls it a "crucial moment in Canadian history."

It calls on governments of all levels to recognize the harm done by Indian residential schools and acknowledge their "genocidal character."

The petition notes the work that went into the commission and calls on all Canadians to reflect deeply on its findings.

The commission visited hundreds of communities and heard testimony from 7,000 residential school survivors, including graphic details of rampant sexual and physical abuse.

Its summary report contained 94 recommendations that included holding a national inquiry on missing and murdered aboriginal women.

"We have a duty to ensure that in light of its recommendations, Canada is transformed in such a way that justice for (and with) aboriginal peoples and nations is achieved," the petition reads.

Andrew Woolford, a sociology professor at the University of Manitoba who helped draft the petition, said it has been signed by Canadians from every province and territory — as well as others around the globe — and is ready to be sent to all political parties.

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