Source: (2011) Annual Review of Interdisciplinary Justice Research. 2:55-71.

In 2008 the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, apologized for the Indian Residential School (IRS) system saying that “the government now recognizes that the consequences of the Indian residential schools policy were profoundly negative and that this policy has had a lasting and damaging impact on aboriginal culture, heritage and language” (Harper, 2008). #e apology was a part of the Residential School Settlement Agreement signed by the government of Canada. Another key component of the settlement was the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Reconciliation and truth building are clearly goals for the commission but both are left undefined in the commission’s mandate. In this paper I bracket the issue of what these terms mean in order to examine an issue I think must be dealt with first. In order to move closer to truth and reconciliation, whatever those consist of, the TRC must be able to make intelligible the harms that Aboriginal people experience(d). Aboriginal authors have identified multiple harms that must be addressed by the TRC. The commission must operate from a broad theory of justice that conceptualizes these harms as unjust. (excerpt)