Parish to host blanket exercise to re-enact the effects of colonization on aboriginal peoples -- and to promote empathy
On Sunday, February 26, the Parish will host an event designed to promote greater understanding of the plight of aboriginal peoples through centuries of colonization. The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an interactive learning experience that teaches the history of Indigenous rights that we’re rarely taught. Developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, which recommended education on Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation, the Blanket Exercise covers over 500 years of history in a one and a half hour participatory workshop.
Blanket Exercise participants take on the roles of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. They are directed by facilitators representing a narrator (or narrators) and the European colonizers. Participants are drawn into the experience by reading scrolls and carrying cards which ultimately determine their outcomes. By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates and increases empathy. Ideally, the exercise is followed by a debriefing session in which participants have the opportunity to discuss the experience as a group. This often takes the form of a talking circle.
The event will be led by Patrick Mackenzie, a parishioner and policy analyst with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. The exercise will take place in the Parish Hall, beginning at 1 pm. Please bring a bag lunch and an inquiring mind and heart. For more information and to register please call 613-232- 6992.