Indigenous people need mechanisms to address the errors or limitations of institutional records - i.e. to set the record straight, comment upon the inaccuracies or limitations of institutional records, to contribute family narratives which expand upon or give context to institutional records and to present their version of events alongside the official one.
The Bringing Them Home Report recognised the need for people affected by forcible removal to correct information on their file (HREOC 1997). The desire to set the record straight is a feature of many post-colonial and/or post-surveillance societies whose citizens subsequently gain access to records about their lives. It is also a recognised component of a 'right to know' about past events in the aftermath of instances of human rights violations. The Joinet-Orentlicher Principles, adopted in 1997 by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHRC 1999 & 2005), apply to efforts to combat impunity in instances of violations of human rights and/or international humanitarian law. They codify the right to know and the right of reply (along with the right to justice and the right to reparation):
All persons shall be entitled to know whether their name appears in State archives and, if it does, by virtue of their right of access, to challenge the validity of the information concerning them by exercising a right of reply. The challenged document should include a cross-reference to the document challenging its validity and both must be made available together whenever the former is requested.