Adaptations of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in the North American Context: Local Examples of a Global Restorative Justice Intervention
Keywords:Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, restorative justice, human rights
AbstractTruth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRCs) are restorative justice mechanisms for addressing human rights violations and injustice at the macro level. Mainly applied in the Global South, they have only recently been adapted within North America. The Greensboro, NC TRC was launched by grassroots and community-based organizations in 2004 to examine the causes and consequences of a 1979 incident of racial violence. The Canadian TRC was established in 2008 to address the legacy of colonial policies of assimilation and the forced schooling of indigenous populations. Through a comparison of these two cases, this paper will investigate how the North American context shapes the nature of the problems that these TRCs address, how they are organized, their relationship to the legal system, the role of civil society, and their relationship to poverty and reparations. Implications for social work, restorative justice and the potential for additional TRCs in North America are discussed.