Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Call to Action #70

A Reconciliation Framework for Canadian Archives

August 3, 2020

Release of A Reconciliation Framework for Canadian Archives (July 2020) By the Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce of the Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives

July 28, 2020 — In June 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada issued 94 Calls to Action to the Canadian government and its citizenry in hopes that all those addressed in these calls would take heed, and actively redress the wrongs they had done to the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

Call to Action #70 called upon the federal government to provide funding to the Canadian Association of Archivists to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a national review of archival policies and best practices. The Canadian archival community heard this call to action. In September 2015, the Steering Community on Canada’s Archives (SCCA), representing the Canadian Council of Archives, the Association of Canadian Archivists, Library and Archives Canada, l’Association des archivistes du Québec, and the Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists, established the Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce (TRC-TF) – its mandate to address Call to Action #70 specifically, and the other 93 Calls in spirit.

With mandate in hand, the Taskforce spent the next four years conducting a review of archival policies and best practices extant across the country, and identifying potential barriers to reconciliation efforts between the Canadian archival community and Indigenous record keepers. The TRC-TF then worked in collaboration with Indigenous communities, heritage professionals and organizations across Canada to create an actionable response to this research which would become the foundation for a reconciliation framework for Canadian archives.

The document, “A Reconciliation Framework for Canadian Archives,” is the result of this collaborative work. The Vision, 6 Principles, 7 Objectives and 33 Strategies presented herein are intended to form a practical framework supporting the Canadian archival community as it begins to redress its colonial legacy. This framework is intended to be used as a living document, evolving as the framework is put into practice.

“A Reconciliation Framework for Canadian Archives” is currently ready for public review in both English (PDF) and French (PDF). Please take some time to read and digest the information therein. In the coming weeks, we will be sending out a SurveyMonkey link through which you can share your comments and constructive feedback. The Taskforce will review this feedback and make changes to this living framework as required.

With respect,

Erica Hernandez-Read & Donald Johnson
Co-Chairs, TRC-TF