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Locating a Theoretical Framework for the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Charles Taylor or Nancy Fraser?

Author(s): Konstantin S. Petoukhov

Journal: International Indigenous Policy Journal
ISSN 1916-5781

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Nancy Fraser | Charles Taylor | Truth and Reconciliation Commission | Indian Residential Schools

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada was established to uncover and acknowledge the injustices that took place in Indian residential schools and, in doing so, to pave the way to reconciliation. However, the TRC does not define reconciliation or how we would know it when (and if) we get there, thus stirring a debate about what it could mean. This article examines two theories that may potentially be relevant to the TRC’s work: Charles Taylor’s theory of recognition and Nancy Fraser’s tripartite theory of justice. The goal is to discover what each theory contributes to our understanding of the harms that Indigenous peoples suffered in residential schools, as well as in the broader colonial project, and how to address these harms appropriately.

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