Date of Award

Spring 2016

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS)


Interdisciplinary Program


Darren Ranco

Second Committee Member

Yvonne Thibodeau

Third Committee Member

Amy Cross


This thesis argues that a transformative justice discourse needs to be adopted by the current field of transitional justice in order to account for the many developments in the field. Using the case of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it presents the innovative approaches and unique context the Commission operates in, following a transformative methodology to affect fundamental social change through the political, economic, and social structures that allowed the violence and harm in question to pass. Distinguishing itself from a transitional context where regime change exists with an objective to establish democracy, this thesis suggests that the Commission orients itself around a goal of human security, a goal that should be made critical to the transformative discourse. Demonstrating that the Commission supports a transformative methodology, this thesis rejects the notion of a North American context within the field and recommends more recent processes of transitional justice be analyzed and categorized under a new transformative discourse.