Source: (2014) Canadian Journal of Law and Society. 29:199-217.

How and why did Canada end up with a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) rather than a judicially based public inquiry in response to Indian Residential Schools? Using a constructivist-interpretivist approach with interview research with twenty-three key actors, this article traces the path toward the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. It examines in particular the shift from calls for public inquiry to truth and reconciliation. In sourcing the idea of a TRC, it gauges the balance between transnational influences and homegrown elements and suggests that two different approaches to a truth commission were merged during the settlement negotiations. One approach, associated with the Assembly of First Nations, focuses on accountability and public record, and the other, associated with survivor and Protestant organizations, is more grassroots and community-focused. This article looks at hybridity and gaps in the TRC's design, suggesting that the two visions of a truth commission continue to exist in tension.(author's abstract)