BLR  Vol.9 No.4 , September 2018
Truth, Reconcilation, Restorative Justice, and Canadian Discourses of Legitimation in Educational Contexts
Abstract: Building upon previous research investigating discourses of legitimation informing restorative justice practices in educational contexts in Canada and the United Kingdom, the current study takes forward the same conceptual and analytic framework to engage a preliminary analysis of legitimation in the narrative of documents and testimonies found within the reports of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015a, 2015b) or TRC. Shared philosophical principles emergent from Indigenous epistemologies are foundational to both restorative justice and truth and reconciliation proceedings and, accordingly, the current study drew upon insights from an original study epistemologically, analytically and methodologically (Clarysse & Moore, 2017). The conceptual framework guiding the analysis is shaped by van Leeuwen’s (2007) framework of four categories for analyzing processes that legitimate social practices in public communication, education, and everyday interaction. Findings indicate unrestricted and extensive use of legitimation within historical discourse related to the residential schooling system disclosed in Canada’s TRC. Subsequent current-day testimonies of the survivors of Canada’s residential schooling system and their ancestors articulate the lived experience and fallout from education related to this historical discourse legitimation. In contrast to text evidence from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a comparative analysis of text samples from contemporary restorative justice policy, law and practice documents found less pointed and more holistic application of discourses of legitimation to convey the merit of restorative justice practices in educational contexts. This study reinforces the important role of educational discourses in shaping critical awareness of discursive patterns of legitimation and the impact of these patterns of communication on notions of holism and community in educational contexts.
Cite this paper: Moore, S. , Clarysse, L. (2018) Truth, Reconcilation, Restorative Justice, and Canadian Discourses of Legitimation in Educational Contexts. Beijing Law Review, 9, 481-498. doi: 10.4236/blr.2018.94029.

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