I had the opportunity to experience the Kairos Blanket Exercise in Nipawin on January 31, 2019. The people involved in this exercise were from the surrounding communities. The blanket exercise is an activity where participants explore the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada and explore a timeline of over 500 years. Blankets are arranged on the floor to represent Canadian land, or “Turtle Island” known by the Indigenous peoples. Each participant played a part, by stepping into the roles of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples.
The exercise was well executed and personal touches were added. It was an emotional, educational, and enlightening experience. The age groups varied from middle school to elders. The views of the participants varied from no knowledge of residential school, to people who experienced residential school. The facilitator added in missing and murdered women, and the sixties scoop. This exercise fulfills the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action. It is my recommendation that Northern Lights School Division has a trained facilitator to promote the Kairos Blanket exercise during the annual NATA convention.