An evaluation of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) through the lens of restorative justice and the theory of recognition
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Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established as one of the responses seeking to address the harm done by the Indian residential school system. While the main goals of the TRC include discovering truth and promoting healing and reconciliation, it is necessary to critically interrogate its design and activities in order to gain insight into its potential to allow Canada to move beyond trauma and build a just future. To accomplish this challenging task, my thesis employs qualitative research design and applies the conceptual framework of restorative justice, Charles Taylor’s theory of recognition, and Nancy Fraser’s tripartite theory of social justice in an attempt to assess the TRC’s restorative and recognitive potential. The main finding of this thesis is that the TRC is not fully restorative and possesses limited potential to contribute to the decolonization of Canada.