In 1996, the Aboriginal Rights Coalition worked with Indigenous elders and teachers to develop an interactive way of learning the history most Canadians are never taught. The Blanket Exercise was the result; it has since been offered thousands of times and the fourth edition was released in 2016.
Want to know more? Vist the KAIROS Blanket Exercise Website
How it works
Two scripts are included: one for youth and adults, the other for children and younger teens. The exercise uses blankets to represent the lands of what is now called Canada, and the distinct cultures and nations which live on those lands to this day. Participants represent the First Peoples; when they move onto the blankets, they are taken back in time to the arrival of the Europeans. The Narrator and a European (or two) work with the participants to read a script while the exercise goes through the history of treaty-making, colonization and resistance that resulted in the nation we today call Canada..
Where and how
The Blanket Exercise itself takes about half an hour to 40 minutes, and should always be followed by a talking circle of at least half an hour. It often raises deep emotions and we strongly encourage you to work with your head, heart, and spirit whenever doing the Blanket Exercise. Wherever possible (and it almost always is) please invite local First Nations, Métis or Inuit individuals or representatives to be with you: to honour the traditional territory, to teach, and to begin to build a relationship.
If you need help in knowing where to start, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. KAIROS invites you to use the Blanket Exercise in your faith community, classroom, workplace, or wherever your creativity takes you.
Want to know more?
Vist the KAIROS Blanket Exercise Website
Please note that as demand for KAIROS’ most popular teaching tool continues to grow, we are expanding our capacity to deliver the exercise in a good and safe way that ensures facilitators are well-trained and supported, Elders are properly compensated, and training is standardized. As part of this expansion initiative, we are implementing changes to the KAIROS Blanket Exercise website including the way that scripts are accessed.