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 The Aboriginal Archives Guide by the Association of Canadian Archivists is now outdated (2007) , though it contains information that continues to be valuable today.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