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An evaluation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) through the lens of restorative justice.

Petoukhov, Konstantin
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) Annual Review of Interdisciplinary Justice Research. 2:143-173.

As one of the strategies to assimilate Aboriginal people into Euro-Canadian society, the Indian residential school system was established in the 19th century. Its main goal was to teach Aboriginal children English or French and to provide them
with the necessary education in order for them to become self-sufficient, successful individuals. Many Aboriginal children encountered abuse, neglect and racism when attending residential schools. In 2006, the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement was created as a mechanism of redress for residential school experiences and consists of a government apology, monetary compensation payments, and the Indian Residential School TRC. Restorative justice – which operates on principles of restoring respect and dignity of victims, empowering victims, listening to their stories of how wrongdoings have affected them, and establishing an accurate record of past harms – may have the potential to address the abuse and neglect which occurred in residential schools. The goal of this paper is to examine the extent to which principles of restorative justice have been built into the design of Canada’s TRC. The presence of restorative justice elements in the TRC may serve as one of the early indicators of the TRC’s successes or failures in its long-term goals of healing of
Aboriginal peoples and reconciliation of nations. (Author’s abstract)


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