Proceedings of The 2nd World Conference on Research in Social Sciences
National Commissions: Implications of Reconciliation
Lorenzo Cherubini, Ed.D.
It has been 25 years since the publication of the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP). The RCAP is widely considered a landmark document in Canadian history due, in part, to the extensive recommendations that were an outcome of nearly 200 hearings, countless testimonies, and multiple research reports. Nearly 20 years after the release of the RCAP report, another key commission – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) published a six-volume report consisting of over 3,200 pages that provided a comprehensive historical account of Canada’s residential school system and the need for and significance of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada. In terms of public perception, the TRC re-introduced Indigenous issues into Canadian consciousness. The intent of this analysis, therefore, is first to review the critical theories and anti-oppressive education perspectives that are critical of mainstream government initiated commissions as espousing a view of reconciliation as merely a romantic and relatively hollow concept meant to quell the array of tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Second, this paper will use a post-colonial theoretical framework to discuss the implications of the aforementioned theories and then offer a series of key recommendations towards enacting meaningful change.
Keywords: Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.