The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established pursuant to a settlement agreement arising from Canada’s largest ever class action lawsuit. The Commission is one part of the multi-part settlement agreement, relating to settling claims arising from the treatment of Aboriginal children in residential schools over approximately a century of Canadian history.
Part of the Commission’s mandate calls on the Commission to establish a National Research Centre that will exist after the Commission has completed its work. During the life of the Commission, the Parties to the settlement agreement are required to provide all relevant documents to the Commission. In addition, the Commission will be documenting the experiences of Survivors via audio and video recordings. These statements will also be housed in the National Research Center.
Although the Commission’s mandate will not be concluded until 2014, it is time to begin planning for the National Research Centre and this forum represents a significant effort on the part of the commission to hear from various experts around the world.
We believe that the establishment of such a National Research Centre in Canada will be an important and perhaps the most lasting legacy of the settlement agreement.
We have assembled a group of international experts on this topic that is perhaps unique in Canadian history and should be enriching for all, whether they are considering making an application to be chosen as part of the National Research Centre, or whether they wish to learn more about the work of the Commission or the various international experts who will be speaking at the National Research Centre conference.
The TRC has a five-year mandate to hold national and community events across the country, take statements from any persons who feel affected by the residential schools and their legacy and support commemoration of former Residential School students and their families. The community events are for the purpose of creating a record or statement of community narratives – including truths, insights and recommendations – for use in the historical research and report, national events, and for inclusion in a research centre.
The TRC will identify sources and create as complete an historical record as possible of the residential school system.
The Commission’s mandate states that it will establish a research Centre, in a manner and to the extent that the Commission’s budget makes possible. The Centre would be accessible to former students, their families and communities, the general public, researchers and educators. During its mandate, the Commission will ensure that all materials created or received will be preserved and archived with a purpose and tradition in keeping with the objectives and spirit of the Commission’s work.
In keeping with this part of the mandate to establish a National Research Centre, the TRC is planning a three-day forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 1-3, 2011 at the Sheraton Wall Centre.
The forum will assemble discussion panels of experts who will provide information to assist the Commissioners in gathering and archiving the statements being gathered. The vision that emerges from this forum will be the basis on which the National Research Centre will be established.
The expertise being shared will be specific to the creation and organizational structure of research or archival centres, databases or projects for statement gathering, research, public access and privacy management, capacity-building, public education or memorialisation.
The forum will have a particular emphasis on institutions and records that relate to indigenous peoples and to Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, the records and statements they collect and how best to make these accessible.
The outcomes of the forum will significantly contribute to fulfilling the creation of an institution that is broadly accessible to all, committed to meeting survivor needs and actively promotes education and learning of the residential school experience and legacy.
The TRC is inviting international and national experts in this field to provide advice, vision and experience on the establishment of the National Research Centre.
When the forum is over, the TRC will begin to look for suitable candidates and proposals to undertake the establishment of the National Research Centre.
The forum will be held in Vancouver on March 1, 2 and 3, 2011.
EVENT: National Research Centre Forum
ORGANIZER: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
DATES: March 1-3, 2011
LOCATION: Vancouver, BC
REGISTRATION CONTACT: Ruby Smith
REGISTRATION EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
REGISTRATION TEL #: 866-904-8377