Posts Tagged “Justice”
3. We call upon all levels of government to fully implement Jordan’s Principle.
All levels of government must implement Jordan’s Principle, a policy which is used to resolve jurisdictional disputes within governments over the required funds for government services provided to Aboriginal children.
This is the site of the Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal which provides the various qualitative and quantitative research on the issues addressed in Jordan’s Principle which was created in result of the loss of a child named Jordan’s life in the jurisdictional conflict of Aboriginal youth policy.
13. We call upon the federal government to acknowledge that Aboriginal rights include Aboriginal language rights.
More than 50 Aboriginal languages are currently spoken across the country. Canada is a country of many languages. For many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, language is an expression of their nationhood and identity. Language is not only a way of communication; it is a way of life. Stories are taught to young people to teach values, spiritual and traditional beliefs from generation to generation. Without these languages none of this can be done. Courses teaching Aboriginal languages should be offered at universities and colleges across Canada. This would create opportunities for students to learn Aboriginal languages to keep these languages active. Also history courses with teachings about residential schools should be taught at every education level to make young Canadians aware of our history that is often ignored and left out.
Compiled By: Morgan Visser
25. We call upon the federal government to establish a written policy that reaffirms the independence of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to investigate crimes in which the government has its own interest as a potential or real party in civil litigation.
The government of Canada has not been the greatest to the Aboriginal community. An example of this is when the Labour Standards Act is Nunavut being exempt from the Labour Standards Act.
“The Government of Nunavut is exempt from the Labour Standards Act and therefor the Labour Standards Officer cannot receive or investigate the Government Departments” – Bill Riddell.
Last time I checked the Inuit people have been here longer than anyone from Europe and should be protected by the Labour Standards Act just like the rest of Canada. It is unfair that the majority of people living in Nunavut are dealing with mistreatment.
The Labour Standards Act is meant to protect workers. If Inuit people cannot be protected by this act how are they supposed to work in a healthy and safe environment. The RCMP should investigate to make sure that Inuit people are being treated the same at work as every other Canadian.
If Aboriginal people are not able to work in safe environments then it result in poor health issues that can also create difficult social environments. Labour Standard laws not being enforced in Nunavut is another example of colonialism and we need to make sure that it is a practice which is no longer committed. It is important to make sure the Inuit are protected.
The Labour Standards act is just one example of how the government has treated the Aboriginal community poorly and this is why the RCMP should investigate. They should find the answer as to why those in Nunavut are not protected under this act.
- Lunch With New RCMP Chief Speak, The Globe and Mail
Compiled By: Matt Thibeau
27. “We call upon the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to ensure that lawyers receive appropriate cultural competency training, which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal-Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism”
Cultural Competency is the idea that if a professional is working in an area that works directly or indirectly with a different culture that the professional will be respectful and knowledgeable about that culture.
This recommendation focuses on the importance of lawyers having a well rounded knowledge as they practice law within Canada. Cultural competency training for lawyers is an important step in reconciliation between the legal system of Canada and Aboriginal peoples. It would also teach lawyers to be respectful of cultural differences and be prepared for all factors that could relate to their cases and clients. Lawyers should be as aware and knowledgeable about Aboriginal concerns and culture as they are about any others in Canada.
The recommendation address the racism and treatment towards Aboriginal people within the legal system and also addresses the lack of knowledge of those who work in positions which involve cross-cultural relations.
Cultural competency training could be implemented in a number of ways. It becoming a part of curriculum at law schools or law firms could provide seminars or training course.
- Cultural Competency – Canada’s History and Today’s Physician, College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
- Indigenous Cultural Competency Training Program, Provincial Health Services BC
Compiled by: Arryn Benson
29. We call upon the parties and, in particular, the federal government, to work collaboratively with plaintiffs not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to have disputed legal issues determined expeditiously on an agreed set of facts.
This recommendation aims to readdresses through a fair and public inquiry, the abuses faced by former students who were supposed to be compensated fairly by the IRSSA. Private law practitioners exploited their indigenous clients who were at a socioeconomic disadvantage to understand these legal processes, and a more relatable legal team without insidious agendas would prevent that from happening again. This recommendation calls for that justice to finally begin to be served.
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement is the largest class action settlement that has ever occurred in the Canadian legal system; this settlement calls to address the severe cultural, mental, and systematic problems that arose from the existence of residential schools on Canadian soil. With the implementation of the Indian Act over 100 years ago, the Canadian government began taking children from their homes and communities, and enrolling them in mandatory Catholic or Protestant school systems.
The children were essentially held captive; they were banned from practicing their respective religion, speaking their own language, or communicating with their families…all in an effort to destroy Native American culture. This was not the only problem faced by indigenous children, they also endured tremendous psychological, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of their ‘educators’, actions that still need to be addressed and reprimanded by the Canadian government. Thousands of indigenous peoples would benefit from expeditious parties determining if the IRSSA has biased clauses discrediting the struggles endures by indigenous communities.
30. We call upon federal, provincial, and territorial governments to commit to eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in custody over the next decade, and to issue detailed annual reports that monitor and evaluate progress in doing so.
This recommendation calls into action how legal practitioners and law enforcers alike can work together and be held responsible for treating Aboriginal peoples the same as their white counterparts. This includes opening opportunities to them they have been denied thus far; like providing offenders with equal amounts of time consulting with lawyers, an opportunity to make bail, and challenge incarceration laws that have disrupted racial representation in prisons. As a society that values justice and equality, we must address the systematic racism ingrained in legal procedures and ensure these goals are met.
The overrepresentation of Aboriginal peoples in federal/provincial prisons under custody, in Manitoba alone where indigenous peoples make up only about a tenth of the population…over half of the prisoner population is made up of peoples with native heritage. This is thought to be due to a mutually influential cycle of Aboriginals growing up under intense social discrimination making them more likely to commit crimes and act out, as well as an inherently discriminatory legal justice system.
In a society protected under Canadian federal law that seeks to unite populations of Canada, it is inherently discriminatory to ignore the respective cultural and social problems faced by Aboriginal peoples. As the oppression endured by indigenous peoples has caused a predisposition for them to commit and be charged with breaking the law, it is only suitable that the federal government and indigenous populations assimilate to aid this significant problem of inequality.
31. We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to provide sufficient and stable funding to implement and evaluate community sanctions that will provide realistic alternatives to imprisonment for Aboriginal offenders and respond to the underlying causes of offending.
Prison populations in regions of Canada represent a disturbing amount of bias in our federal and provincial legal systems, yet imprisonment as a whole is a redundant process for ensuring justice. The reliance of Canada’s legal justice on imprisonment coupled with native populations social susceptibility to minor crimes has contributed to the one of the most ethnically imbalanced. Factors such as parental background, educational opportunities, and socioeconomic status are all influential in shaping a potentially incarcerated criminal, but one element has also unfortunately arisen: ethnicity. Aboriginal offenders are more likely to be imprisoned for minor crimes and do more time than their white counterparts, and this system of release and arrest is clearly ineffective for such a differing culture than that of mainstream Canada.
The Constitution Act of Canada outlined that aboriginal-specific needs to accommodate for the racism emitted by judicial law, whereas aboriginal organizations themselves organized alternatives to imprisonment or fines. Many of these processes focus on reintegrating traditional native philosophies to deal with current problems, and offers a community focused base for which offenders to build off of and become engaged and law abiding citizens. Sacred Circles, Cultural Skills, and Sweat Lodge ceremonies have been vital to indigenous populations since before they faced colonization, so their communities must be granted the right to continue healing themselves with ceremonies that are much more constructive, spiritual, and humane.
34. We call upon the governments of Canada, the provinces, and territories to undertake reforms to the criminal justice system to better address the needs of offenders with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), including:
i. Providing increased community resources and powers for courts to ensure that FASD is properly diagnosed, and that appropriate community supports are in place for those with FASD.
ii. Enacting statutory exemptions from mandatory minimum sentences of imprisonment for offenders affected by FASD.
iii. Providing community, correctional, and parole resources to maximize the ability of people with FASD to live in the community.
iv. Adopting appropriate evaluation mechanisms to measure the effectiveness of such programs and ensure community safety.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls upon the governments of Canada to make reforms to the criminal justice system to better address the needs of offenders with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), this would include:
- Increasing community resources and powers for courts to ensure that FASD is properly diagnosed and that proper support systems are in place for individuals with FASD.
- Establish situational exceptions from mandatory minimum sentences for offenders affected by FASD.
- To maximize the ability of people with FASD to live in the community by providing community, correctional and parole resources.
- To adopt evolution methods to continuously ensure the effectiveness of such programs and ensure community safety.
Compiled by: Samuel Bigelow
35. We call upon the federal government to eliminate barriers to the creation of additional Aboriginal healing lodges within the federal correctional system.
“This is particularly important for women in prison. Aboriginal women are even more over-represented in prisons than men. And yet there are far fewer traditional healing opportunities available to them. Many women are being held in prisons far from their homes – this is especially true for Inuit women where there are no female prisons available closer to home. Being separated from family and especially from their children can be particularly hard for women”- Shelley Wright
With healing centers closer to aboriginal homes (especially in the north) this will help the healing process be a lot more effective. The relations Aboriginal people have with each other is so important and they always want to help each other through bad times. With healing centers being closer to Aboriginal communities this would allow for other Aboriginal people from the community to help whoever is in the healing center heal. With Aboriginal people being in prisons far away from their home they will have a hard time being supported from their friends and family during their tough time.
There are other ways to help heal people and one story I heard of an Aboriginal leader taking some kids who got in trouble out on an island and they lived off the land for a week or two and this was huge when it came to healing. As John Borrows talks about the relationship with nature is so important to Aboriginal People that you can heal people by having relationships with nature and using those relationship to improve.
In the link below you can also see how important elders are in the healing process such as traditional drumming. Aboriginal Inmates can heal better by being around their elders. However this is hard to do when the institutions are far away from their community.
Compiled By: Matthew Thibeau
- We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to work with Aboriginal communities to provide culturally relevant services to inmates on issues such as substance abuse, family and domestic violence, and overcoming the experience of having been sexually abused.
36. We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to work with Aboriginal communities to provide culturally relevant services to inmates on issues such as substance abuse, family and domestic violence, and overcoming the experience of having been sexually abused.
Compiled by: Rebecca
- We call upon the federal government to provide more supports for Aboriginal programming in halfway houses and parole services.
37. We call upon the federal government to provide more supports for Aboriginal programming in halfway houses and parole services.
Compiled by: Rebecca
38. We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to commit to eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal youth in custody over the next decade.
“One clear concern was that the justice system does not recognize or understand the social and personal realities of the people living in marginalized conditions progressing through it” – John Houston
The residential schools have caused lasting effects and has created bad social environments. The abuse from these schools has caused Aboriginal youth to be deviant too. Just because a youth has become deviant does not mean they are bad. It is because of the residential schools this has caused generations of Aboriginal people to lose their culture.
Aboriginal adults represent about 3 percent of the Canadian population yet about 34 percent of females in prison are Aboriginal women and about 22 percent of men in prison are Aboriginal. One way to cut down on youth and adults from going to prison is a sentencing circle or heeling circle. Instead of throwing a youth in prison because he or she threw a rock at someone’s window put them in a sentencing circle which will include everyone from elders, police, victim parties and accused parties. A sentencing circle will resolve the problem by an agreement between the victim and accused. In this case of the rock being thrown at a window the accused could maybe work for the elder. What this does is it keeps the accused from getting a criminal record but at the same still solves the issue in a successful way.
Statistics in context: Aboriginals in Canada’s prisons, National, Canadian Bar Association
Compiled by: Matthew Thibeau
39. We call upon the federal government to develop a national plan to collect and publish data on the criminal victimization of Aboriginal people, including data related to homicide and family violence victimization
We ask the government to gather statistics and information to show the criminal victimization of Aboriginal peoples.
-A study showed that from 1980 to 2012, more than 1,000 Canadian aboriginal women were murdered, according to the RCMP. Aboriginal women make up 16% of female murder victims, and 12 per cent of missing women. Despite these percentages, aboriginal peoples combined, only make up 4 per cent of the Canadian population.
– Aboriginals make up more than 23 per cent of the inmates in Canada’s federal prisons.
– The novel “Birdie” by Tracy Lindberg is a great example of how Aboriginal people are treated by the government, and what lengths they go to in order improve quality of life.
– This recommendation is key in improving the mistreatment of aboriginal peoples in Canadian society, as well as future regulation of their gross over-representation in jail.
– Data collection on these subject would help push the government towards action by showing them aboriginal peoples current experiences in Canadian society specifically emphasizing crime and mistreatment. Publishing this data and making it more widely accessible would in hope, force action related to improvement of family violence and victimization.
Compiled By: Matthew Fancy
43. We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.
The Declaration addresses matters of cultural preservation, racism, sovereignty, health, and other aspects of challenges that indigenous peoples face in the hopes of creating better relationships between native populations and the state. Canada has been unique in its unwillingness to adopt the declaration, and the past government’s reasoning for this was that it could not support the section that asserted states must seek “free, prior and informed consent” from indigenous peoples before taking action that would infringe upon treaty rights.
The TRC recommends that Canada implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples so to solidify Canada’s commitment to reconciliation.
An on-line version of The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a document which lists the rights that all indigenous peoples of participating countries would have and outlines agreements that participating countries must make to ameliorate their treatment of indigenous peoples and advance the process of reconciliation. For instance the document affirms that “indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind” and states that “indigenous peoples…have the right to autonomy or self government”
45. We call upon the Government of Canada, on behalf of all Canadians, to jointly develop with Aboriginal peoples a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation to be issued by the Crown. The proclamation would build on the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Treaty of Niagara of 1764, and reaffirm the nation-to-nation relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown. The proclamation would include, but not be limited to, the following commitments:
i. Repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius.
ii. Adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.
iii. Renew or establish Treaty relationships based on principles of mutual recognition, mutual respect, and shared responsibility for maintaining those relationships into the future.
v. Reconcile Aboriginal and Crown constitutional and legal orders to ensure that Aboriginal peoples are full partners in Confederation, including the recognition and integration of Indigenous laws and legal traditions in negotiation and implementation processes involving Treaties, land claims, and other constructive agreements.
The TRC recommends that Canada use both the proclamation of 1763 and the treaty of 1764 to inspire the development of a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation to be issued by the crown.
It is clear, in the history of residential schools and other injustices, that Canada has forgotten the core values of these promises. This proclamation would re-establish a nation to nation relationship, meaning that indigenous peoples and the Crown would be understood as the two nations of the land and would each have rights to self governance. Recognizing this nation to nation relationship also means recognizing that indigenous peoples were already living on Turtle Island when Europeans settled there, and this conflicts with the Doctrine of Discovery and the idea of terra nulls: concepts that assert the land was uncolonized when Europeans arrived.
This proclamation would work in combination with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to re-enforce treaties, re-establish a nation to nation relationship, and finally recognize the role that indigenous peoples play in confederation and that their traditional methods of negotiation deserve a place in settling land disputes.
Posts Tagged ‘Covenant of Reconciliation’
Justice Murray Sinclair’s challenge for Canada as it seeks reconciliation
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls upon all religious and faith groups, who have not done so to renounce and discredit concepts used to justify European sovereignty over indigenous lands and peoples. Doctrines like the Doctrine of Discovery are rooted in colonial concepts like terra nullius, which claimed sovereignty over aboriginal lands. Canada’s Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples also has recommended that these terms be recognize to be “legally, morally and factually wrong.”
Response of the Churches to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Anglican Church of Canada.
First Nations’ Rights: The Gap Between Law and Practice, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada.
50. In keeping with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal organizations, to fund the establishment of Indigenous law institutes for the development, use, and understanding of Indigenous laws and access to justice in accordance with the unique cultures of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
In a few words: Fund Indigenous law institutes!
Recognize that Canada has more than one legal system! Canada already recognizes both common law and civil law; Canada needs to recognize indigenous law too.
When it comes to funding Indigenous law institutes, this means funding programs such as legal support networks for Indigenous peoples within the court system. Some of these programs allow Indigenous people who have been accused of a crime to receive sentencing in traditional healing circles, rather than in the court.
This also of course means developing our understanding of indigenous law, which is most obviously done within universities. Law schools in Canada need to continue to make greater strides in teaching Indigenous law to their students!
Native Law, University of Saskatchewan.
Compiled by Jonathan Wearing
51. We call upon the Government of Canada, as an obligation of its fiduciary responsibility, to develop a policy of transparency by publishing legal opinions it develops and upon which it acts or intends to act, in regard to the scope and extent of Aboriginal and Treaty rights.
Government transparency in regard to Aboriginal and Treaty rights!
In many court cases, the courts have outlined that the Crown (the Government) has a fiduciary duty towards Indigenous peoples. This means that the Government must not only act in good faith with Indigenous peoples, but must also act as “trustee” of sorts for Indigenous peoples, and must always equally consider the best interests of Indigenous peoples along with Crown interests. When it comes to how the Government acts in regards to Treaty rights, all this recommendation is really saying is that the Government should be upfront and open about how it will respect the rights of Indigenous peoples.
Moving Backwards: Does the Lack of Duty to Consult Create the Right to Infringe Aboriginal and Treaty Rights?, Shin Imai, York University.
Compiled by Jonathan Wearing
52. We call upon the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial governments, and the courts to adopt the following legal principles:
i. Aboriginal title claims are accepted once the Aboriginal claimant has established occupation over a particular territory at a particular point in time.
ii.Once Aboriginal title has been established, the burden of proving any limitation on any rights arising from the existence of that title shifts to the party asserting such a limitation.
Many court cases have outlined how Aboriginal title is proven. Proving Aboriginal title is extremely important, as in many areas of Canada, the Government never signed treaties with local Indigenous peoples. Many Indigenous peoples thus still claim legal title over their ancestral land that was never ceded within a treaty. In most cases, Aboriginal title awards the same rights as private ownership. There is therefore great incentive for Indigenous groups of people to prove their title over their ancestral land. But there are also many reasons for other parties to want to disprove Aboriginal title. Many parties have argued in the courts for tougher standards for Indigenous peoples to prove their title to land, such as by claiming Indigenous peoples needed to prove extensive use of the land. However, in 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that only 3 things were required for Indigenous peoples to prove their title (Delgamuukw v British Columbia, para. 143), which were summarized in 2014 as:
- Sufficiency—There must be evidence that Indigenous peoples occupied the land before European contact
- Continuity—Occupation of this land must be continuous between the present and contact
- Exclusivity—at the time of contact, the Indigenous group must be the sole group claiming control of the territory. (Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia, para. 32)
Essentially, what this recommendation is saying is that once these three things have been proven, Indigenous peoples have full legal rights over their territory, and they cannot be infringed upon unless it can be proven to be justifiable
Aboriginal Title, Defenders of the Land.
Aboriginal Title Common Law, Wikipedia.
Compiled by Jonathan Wearing
55. We call upon all levels of government to provide annual reports or any current data requested by the National Council for Reconciliation so that it can report on the progress towards reconciliation. The reports or data would include, but not be limited to:
i. The number of Aboriginal children—including Métis and Inuit children—in care, compared with non-Aboriginal children, the reasons for apprehension, and the total spending on preventive and care services by child-welfare agencies.
ii. Comparative funding for the education of First Nations children on and off reserves.
iii. The educational and income attainments of Aboriginal peoples in Canada compared with nonAboriginal people.
iv. Progress on closing the gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in a number of health indicators such as: infant mortality, maternal health, suicide, mental health, addictions, life expectancy, birth rates, infant and child health issues, chronic diseases, illness and injury incidence, and the availability of appropriate health services.
v. Progress on eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in youth custody over the next decade.
vi. Progress on reducing the rate of criminal victimization of Aboriginal people, including data related to homicide and family violence victimization and other crimes.
vii. Progress on reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the justice and correctional systems.
Essentially, the TRC recommends that all levels of government provide annual reports or current date that is requested by the National Council for Reconciliation directly tied to the goal of reconciliation.
These reports and current data would directly relate to current issues like the number of Aboriginal children in care, funding for the education of First Nations children both on and off reserves, educational and income attainments Aboriginal peoples in comparison to non-Aboriginal peoples, the over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in the criminal justice system and more.
The case of wrongfully convicted Donald Marshall who was one of the many Aboriginal peoples victim of the racial prejudice by the Canadian criminal justice system. Marshall was convicted of murder, at 17, and imprisoned for 11 years for a crime he didn’t commit. By the time he was finally released on parole in 1982, he was forever damaged by a miscarriage of justice and years of detention.
“For most Canadians, an unlimited supply of clean water flowing freely from a tap and imperceptibly whisking away their waste at the simple push of a lever is a given; for many First Nations, it’s a luxury their communities can’t afford.”
56. We call upon the prime minister of Canada to formally respond to the report of the National Council for Reconciliation by issuing an annual “State of Aboriginal Peoples” report, which would outline the government’s plans for advancing the cause of reconciliation.
The TRC calls on the current Prime Minister of Canada (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau), to formally respond to the report that the National Council for Reconciliation will create, by issuing an annual “State of Aboriginal Peoples” report—outlining how the government plans on achieving the end goal of reconciliation.
An analysis of the question: “Can Trudeau deliver on his First Nations promises?” Trudeau has committed to a National Inquiry on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, a promise to a return of nation-to-nation relationships between Indigenous peoples, an end to interventionist policies and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, and the principle of informed consent reinforced in policy reform. The article addresses the ambitious platform of the new leader of Canada, and poses a note of caution towards his going forward with his commitments.
- We call upon the Pope to issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools. We call for that apology to be similar to the 2010 apology issued to Irish victims of abuse and to occur within one year of the issuing of this Report and to be delivered by the Pope in Canada.
58. First Nations, Inuit and Metis children endured violence and abuse of all sorts in residential schools, much of it at the hands of the Catholic Church. The abuse that these poor children suffered has led to many problems, not only for the individuals who went to the residential schools, but also their families and communities. In Ireland, the Catholic Church was also found to be at fault for more abuse: six Irish priests were convicted on charges of sexual abuse of children between the years of 1975 and 2011. In the case of Ireland, the Pope issued a letter of apology to the victims. There is no reason that the same should not be done in Canada. The suffering endured by Canada’s aboriginal people be recognized and addressed by the Catholic Church. A formal apology needs to be given. What makes residential school survivors any different from the Irish victims?
Compiled by: Laura Moore
70. We call upon the federal government to provide funding to the Canadian Association of Archivists to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a nation review of archival policies and best practices to:
i. 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.
ii. Produce a report with recommendations for full implementation of these international mechanisms as a reconciliation framework for Canadian Archives.
“In a modern, highly developed country like Canada, it is almost unimaginable that so many indigenous peoples must grapple daily with chronic conditions of disadvantage, including discrimination, neglect, and deep multi-generational trauma. I believe this to be one of the most pressing human rights issues facing Canada today.” – David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC)
This TRC call focuses on Archival practices and policies surrounding reconciliation and compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People as well as the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles. This recommendations calls upon the federal government to evaluate the role of the Canadian Association of Archivists and various Archives around Canada to meet a standard that established through collaborations with Aboriginal peoples. Further, any changes made to meet this standard would be subsidized by the federal government. The second portion of this recommendation calls for the creation of a report that would essentially grade Canadian Archives based on their implementation of international mechanisms to practice policies that will foster reconciliation. It is important for Archives to meet the standards of both the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles in both their practices of processing records, the holding of records and marketing of these records so they be accessible to the public. The Aboriginal Archives Guide by the Association of Canadian Archivists is now outdated (2007) , though it contains information that continues to be valuable today. One of the greatest challenges of Aboriginal records in Archives across Canada continues due to the recording and holding of oral traditions. This guide discusses both written records as well as oral records. Because most written Aboriginal records are from the European perspective, perhaps there needs to be more national push for the collection and preservation of Aboriginal oral records in Archives across the country.
- Aboriginal Archives Guide by the Association of Canadian Archivists <http://archivists.ca/sites/default/files/Attachments/Outreach_attachments/Aboriginal_Archives_English_WEB.pdf>
- Archives Canada Virtual Exhibits < http://www.archivescanada.ca/english/virtual/search.asp>
Compiled by: Emily Macleod