Kairos Blanket Exercise
Steelworkers' Toronto Area Council, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto
This is a Week of Education lead-up event hosted by Toronto350 for the People's Climate March on April 29, weaving the connections between climate change and racialized communities and contains valuable historical information to consider when celebrating Canada's 150th birthday. Below is a description of the exercise from the KAIROS website:
The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history 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.
**Warning: the content of this event may be sensitive or overwhelming for some participants. You are welcome to step out and observe if necessary, and we will have supports in place if so.