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Reconciliation Framework: Canada’s Archives – The Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce

“The heart of this report is the reconciliation framework that resulted from our years of research. This framework provides a road map of sorts, setting out a vision, foundational principles, and a transformative path forward for the archives profession in Canada. The broad objectives point to areas of archival practice in need of immediate change, and the actionable strategies describe scalable activities that – when customized to meet the unique contexts and requirements of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities – support respectful relationship-building initiatives; embrace the intellectual sovereignty of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples over records created by or about them; and encourage the reconceptualization of mainstream archival theory and practice…


This framework can be seen as a touchstone to measure both changes in professional practice and the evolution of conscious and unconscious biases. It is important to note, however, that the framework does not attempt to describe how to decolonize every aspect of archival practice and theory. Some fundamental areas, such as arrangement and appraisal, have been identified but not elaborated; such omissions have been deliberate. At this initial stage of action and awareness in Canada’s archives, it is imperative to maintain focus on the fundamental message: Canada’s archival communities must respect First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples’ intellectual sovereignty over archival materials created by or about them. This monumental step cannot be overlooked. Acknowledging First Nations, Inuit, and Métis intellectual sovereignty is critical to changing current professional practice and essential to taking collective action toward reconciliation, relationship building, and healing.” (p.7-8)