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University Affairs: Preserving sensitive Truth and Reconciliation testimony

November 6, 2015 — 

As reported by University Affairs, there is some uncertainty in the preservation of sensitive information from testimonies from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has been commissioned to archive this information and as its director Ry Moran states, privacy will be safeguarded.

Mr. Moran, who is Métis, is distressed by what he sees as fear-mongering and misinformation about how accessible these archived documents will be. “Promises to survivors must be honoured,” he says, pointing to numerous safeguards to privacy already in place at the centre, where aboriginal control of the records is guaranteed. The safeguards are clearly stated on the centre’s website. An elders’ circle will be consulted about any research involving the most sensitive documents. Individual medical and financial records will not be available. Names and other identifying information will be redacted, possibly through the use of new digital software designed to automatically remove such material. “There are companies that specialize in this,” Mr. Moran says. “It would strip out personal information, but leave in what was statistically significant, so that future researchers could understand trajectories and trends.”

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