The TRC has a five-year mandate to hold national and community events across the country, take statements from any persons who feel affected by the residential schools and their legacy and support commemoration of former Residential School students and their families. The community events are for the purpose of creating a record or statement of community narratives – including truths, insights and recommendations - for use in the historical research and report, national events, and for inclusion in a research centre.
The TRC will identify sources and create as complete an historical record as possible of the residential school system.
The Commission’s mandate states that it will establish a research Centre, in a manner and to the extent that the Commission’s budget makes possible. The Centre would be accessible to former students, their families and communities, the general public, researchers and educators. During its mandate, the Commission will ensure that all materials created or received will be preserved and archived with a purpose and tradition in keeping with the objectives and spirit of the Commission’s work.
In keeping with this part of the mandate to establish a National Research Centre, the TRC is planning a three-day forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 1-3, 2011 at the Sheraton Wall Centre.
The forum will assemble discussion panels of experts who will provide information to assist the Commissioners in gathering and archiving the statements being gathered. The vision that emerges from this forum will be the basis on which the National Research Centre will be established.
The expertise being shared will be specific to the creation and organizational structure of research or archival centres, databases or projects for statement gathering, research, public access and privacy management, capacity-building, public education or memorialisation.
The forum will have a particular emphasis on institutions and records that relate to indigenous peoples and to Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, the records and statements they collect and how best to make these accessible.
The outcomes of the forum will significantly contribute to fulfilling the creation of an institution that is broadly accessible to all, committed to meeting survivor needs and actively promotes education and learning of the residential school experience and legacy.
The TRC is inviting international and national experts in this field to provide advice, vision and experience on the establishment of the National Research Centre.
When the forum is over, the TRC will begin to look for suitable candidates and proposals to undertake the establishment of the National Research Centre.