On June 2008, on behalf of the Canadian government, Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper gave an apology to aboriginals for past policies of assimilation and the aboriginal residential school system. This sparked a renewed interest in the ongoing controversy, the result of which included renewed research interest and use of records from the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) pertaining to this period in Canada’s past.
Recently the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada announced as part of its mandate it will establish a National Research Centre. 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 to hold 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.
Go to forum website