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The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada on Indian Residential Schools provides us with the opportunity to observe the process through which victims reconsider their place in the history of the state. The statements offered in this context put into relief the suffering and memories of assault and torture of children, to the detriment of a more complete and varied view of the origins, modes of operation, and consequences of these residential schools. By favoring the expression of a certain type of testimony, Canada’s TRC shapes many narratives of trauma, institutional crime, and national history. This essentialization of testimony leads us to question the ability of the TRC to effectively reveal the diversity and dynamics of the residential schools, the reasons for their establishment, the causes of the corruption of their goals, and the common features they might have with ongoing, enduring forms of abuse and institutional power.
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