THE NATIONAL RESEARCH CENTRE ON INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS

On June 21, 2013, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) announced that the University of Manitoba will host a National Research Centre to house the statements, documents and all other materials the Commission has gathered during its five-year mandate.

Documents and videos about the University of Manitoba's plans for the National Research Centre are available at the University of Manitoba webpage on the National Research Centre. This includes the legal documents that formally create the centre.

Why a National Research Centre?

The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement requires the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to establish a National Research Centre that will ensure the preservation of the Commission’s archives.

The Centre “shall be accessible to former students, their families and communities, the general public, researchers and educators who wish to include this historic material in curricula.” Anyone affected by the IRS legacy will be permitted to file a personal statement in the research centre with no time limitation.

In the words of TRC Chair Justice Murray Sinclair, “the National Research Centre has the potential to carry on the work and spirit of Truth and Reconciliation long after the Commission closes its doors in June of 2014.”
 

What will be in the Centre?

The National Research Centre will house:

  • thousands of video- and audio-recorded statements that the Commission has gathered from

  • Survivors and others affected by the schools and their legacy

  • millions of digitized archival documents and photographs it is collecting from the

  • Government of Canada and Canadian church entities

  • works of art, artifacts and “expressions of reconciliation” presented at TRC events

  • all of the research and records collected and prepared by the Commission over the life of its

  • mandate

  • any additional material that the Centre will collect in future years.

 

Why the University of Manitoba?

Click here to see TRC call for submissions.

The Commission convened an international forum to study how records and other materials from truth and reconciliation commissions from around the world had been archived. The Commission then issued an open invitation for organizations to express interest in hosting the National Research Centre, and published criteria that it would use to assess the proposals.

The TRC selected the University of Manitoba because its proposal best met the criteria. It had demonstrated a strong commitment to human rights research and promotion, and to Aboriginal peoples and governance. Its proposal stressed the highest standard of digital preservation, meaningful Survivor and community engagement, world-class archival experience and facilities, expertise in privacy and access, and financial stability.

Last but not least, its current and pending partnerships for this project ensure that the records of the Commission will be accessible across Canada.
 

Who are the partners?

The partners in the University of Manitoba’s proposal included the National Association of Friendship Centres, Legacy of Hope Foundation, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, University of British Columbia, Lakehead University, University College of the North, University of Winnipeg, Red River College, Archives of Manitoba, le Centre du Patrimoine, and l’Université de St. Boniface. It is anticipated that more partners will be added as the Centre develops.


Where will the Centre be located?

The National Research Centre will be located on the University of Manitoba Fort Garry Campus in south Winnipeg, though an exact location has not yet been selected. National accessibility through Internet technology will be a key component of the Centre.