Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce

In June 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada issued 94 Calls to Action to the Canadian government and its citizenry in hopes that all those addressed in these calls would take heed, and actively redress the wrongs they had done to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. Call to Action #70, specifically, called upon the “Canadian Association of Archivists” to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a national review of archival policies and best practices to:

  1. Determine the level of compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles, as related to Aboriginal peoples’ inalienable right to know the truth about what happened and why, with regard to human rights violations committed against them in residential schools.
  2. Produce a report with recommendations for full implementation of these international mechanisms as a reconciliation framework for Canadian Archives.

While no such titled association exists, the Canadian archival community came together to heed this call to action. In September 2015, the Steering Community on Canada’s Archives (or SCAA), representing the Canadian Council of Archives, the Association of Canadian Archivists, Library and Archives Canada, l’Association des archivistes du Québec, and the Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists, established the Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce (or TRC-TF) – its  mandate: to address Call to Action #70 specifically, and the additional 93 Calls in spirit. With the assistance of a grant received from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the TRC-TF spent the next 5 years engaged in extensive research to better understand how current archival practices continued to perpetuate colonial ideologies and restrictive information access frameworks in archives across the country. Research results led investigators to develop specific, scalable actions both archives and archivists could undertake which would serve to deconstruct existing colonial foundations, and support the work of building respectful relationships with Indigenous communities represented in their archives. These recommendations for action are outlined in the Reconciliation Framework below.

Reconciliation Framework (2022)

This report draws on research supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Framework Appendices:
For more information on project research methodologies, and to access summaries of the research findings, please see the following appendices:

Co-Leads: Erica Hernández-Read , Head, Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia and Donald Johnson, Special Media Archivist, Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan (member of the Lytton Nation)

Members:

  • Alestine Andre, former Heritage Researcher (retired), Department of Cultural Heritage, Gwich’in Tribal Council (member of the Gwich’in Nation)
  • Valerie Bighetty, Research Assistant, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc. (member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation)
  • Marthe Brown, Archivist, Laurentian University Archives, Laurentian University
  • Marnie Burnham, Manager, Regional Services, Public Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada
  • Camille Callison, University Librarian, University of the Fraser Valley (member of the Tahltan Nation)
  • Leesha Cowan, Disposition Management Archivist, Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan (Métis)
  • Victoria Deleary, Treaty Research Coordinator, Chippewas of the Thames (member of the Chippewas of the Thames Nation)
  • Luciana Duranti, Professor, UBC School of Library, Archival & Information Studies
  • Raymond Frogner, Director of Archives, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
  • Sarah Gauntlett, Archivist, Avataq Cultural Institute
  • Sara Janes, Archivist, Lakehead University Archives, Lakehead University
  • Jennifer Jansen, Records Analyst, Tsawwassen First Nation
  • Mary Jane Johnson, former Heritage Manager (retired), Kluane First Nation  (member of the Kluane Nation)
  • Gerry Lawson, Oral History Lab Coordinator, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia (member of the Heiltsuk Nation)
  • Krista McCracken, Researcher/Curator, Arthur A. Wishart Library and Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, Algoma University
  • Olga McIvor, Research Facilitator, Research and Development, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc. (member of the Sandy Bay Nation)
  • Rita Mogyorosi, Records and Information Officer, B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo)
  • Raegan Swanson, Executive Director, The ArQuives: Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archives
  • Andy Thomas, Researcher, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc. (member of the Chemawawin Cree Nation)
  • Nichole Vonk, General Council Archivist, United Church of Canada
  • Robin Wallace, Reference Archivist & Librarian, Provincial Archives of Alberta
  • Genevieve Weber, Archivist, BC Archives (Royal BC Museum)
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