Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the USA will be established to contribute to truth, healing and reconciliation between Native American Indian Nations and the United States of America.
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* * * * * PROPOSAL DRAFT * * * * *
The following mandate proposal is adapted from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The terminology of “Native American” will be used in reference to all Indigenous Aboriginal Native American Indian Nations and Native Alaskans, enrolled and un-enrolled descendents as well as indigenous peoples of United States of America (USA) Territories who were affected by the Indian Residential Boarding School system. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the United States of America will be referred to as the “Commission.”
There is an emerging and compelling desire to put the events of the past behind us so that we can work towards a stronger and healthier future. The truth telling and reconciliation process as part of an overall holistic and comprehensive response to the Indian Residential Boarding School legacy is a sincere indication and acknowledgement of the injustices and harms experienced by Native American people and the need for continued healing. This is a profound commitment to establishing new relationships embedded in mutual recognition and respect that will forge a brighter future. The truth of our common experiences will help set our spirits free and pave the way to reconciliation.
Through the Agreement*, the Parties* have agreed that an historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the United States of America (USA) will be established to contribute to truth, healing and reconciliation.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the USA will build upon the principles are as follows: accessible; victim-centered; confidentiality (if required by the former student); do no harm; health and safety of participants; representative; public/transparent; accountable; open and honorable process; comprehensive; inclusive, educational, holistic, just and fair; respectful; voluntary; flexible; and forward looking in terms of rebuilding and renewing relationships and the relationship between Native American and non-Native Americans.
Reconciliation is an ongoing individual and collective process, and will require commitment from all those affected including former Indian Residential Boarding School (IRBS) students, their families, communities, faith-based entities, former school employees, government, and the people of the United States of America. Reconciliation may occur between any of the above groups.
TERMS OF REFERENCE:
The goals of the Commission shall be to:
(a) Acknowledge the Indian Residential Boarding School experiences, impacts and consequences;
(b) Provide a holistic, culturally appropriate and safe setting for former students, their families and communities as they come forward to the Commission;
(c) Witness, support, promote and facilitate truth and reconciliation events at both the national and community levels;
(d) Promote awareness and public education of all Americans about the IRBS system and its impacts;
(e) Identify sources and create as complete an historical record as possible of the IRBS system and legacy. The record shall be preserved and made accessible to the public for future study and use;
(f) Produce and submit to the Parties of the Agreement* a report including recommendations* to the Government of the United States of America concerning the IRBS system and experience including: the history, purpose, operation and supervision of the IRBS system, the effect and consequences of IRBS (including systemic harms, intergenerational consequences and the impact on human dignity) and the ongoing legacy of the residential boarding schools; and,
(g) Support commemoration of former Indian Residential Boarding School students and their families in accordance with the Commemoration Policy Directive.*
* = to be determined
* * * * * END OF DRAFT * * * * *
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, more information at their inspirational website: http://www.trc.ca
The state of Maine leads the way in the United States: http://www.mainetribaltrc.org
Healing Lodge Flag is available at: http://www.manataka.org/page450.html
Flag is copyrighted by the © Manataka American Indian Council. All rights reserved.
I seek to promote the establishment of the Commission. It will be a long, complicated, and difficult task. I hope that a nonprofit organization will take leadership of the effort.
Peace to All My Relations
© 2013 Ima B. Musing