Hundreds participated in largest KAIROS Blanket Exercise ever

Kitchi Blanket Exercise 2017

Despite the threat of rain, about 800 people converged on Parliament Hill on June 2 for the largest KAIROS Blanket Exercise ever. They came to mark the second anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and renew their commitment to reconciliation.

The Kitchi Blanket Exercise lived up to its Anishinaabemowin name, the language of the unceded Algonquin territory where Ottawa is located.  The event truly was “really big”! When the sky cleared, the closing circle extended to the circumference of the massive Parliament Hill lawn.

Elder Barbara Dumont-Hill opened and closed the event with words of challenge and hope.  The leadership of youth and women was prominent, as was the diversity of communities represented in the scroll readers.  This included the young adults participating in KAIROS’ Guatemala Exchange.

Health support workers took careful care of the gathered community, and by the end of the exercise there was a tangible sense of hopefulness. Two Cabinet Ministers—the Minister of National Revenue and the Minister for the Status of Women – participated and spoke to the organizers afterwards.

KAIROS extends its deepest gratitude to Assembly of Seven Generations who partnered with us on this event, to Elder Barbara for her graciousness, and to all who came to read, participate and drum.

The Kitchi Blanket Exercise took place during the KAIROS Blanket Exercise Facilitators Gathering June 1 – 4. On June 4 KAIROS also participated in a plaque unravelling at Beechwood Cemetery acknowledging the role of Nicholas Flood Davin in the creation of the residential schools system—part of an ongoing project of reconciling history.

Watch short video produced by APTN news: Blankets were out in full force on Parliament Hill to teach people about the loss of land, life during colonization

Filed in: Indigenous Rights


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