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Petition to the Government of Canada

  • The Government of Canada needlessly categorized many Ukrainians and other Europeans as “enemy aliens” during Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920;
  • An internment camp was set up at Spirit Lake, Quebec, one of 24 across Canada;
  • At least 16 internee burials took place at the Spirit Lake cemetery;
  • The Department of Agriculture sold these lands to Quebec in 1936 and the province sold them to a farmer in 1988;
  • Attempts to restore and re-consecrate the Spirit Lake internee cemetery have been rejected by the property owner and the cemetery is all but lost to the boreal forest;
  • Federal officials, repeatedly informed about the deterioration of the cemetery, claim this is Quebec’s problem, abrogating all legal and moral responsibility for a cemetery established under federal authority and for the remains of the unfortunates buried there.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to use whatever measures necessary to provide for the archaeological examination, restoration, re-consecration and limited ongoing site visits for commemorative and religious services to the Spirit Lake internee cemetery, working in collaboration with the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund, Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Ukrainian Canadian Congress, so hallowing the victims of Canada's first national internment operations

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