Participants of the KAIROS Blanket Exercise learned more about the history of Indigenous cultures in Canada from first contact with colonizers up until the present day Sept. 10 at St. Mary’s Anglican Church. Here participants stand and listen to a script that is part of the exercise.

Blanket Exercise highlights First Nations history

The history between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada was highlighted during a Blanket Exercise created by KAIROS Canada.

The history between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada was highlighted during a Blanket Exercise created by KAIROS Canada.

Held Sept. 10 at St. Mary’s Anglican Church, attendees were given a better understanding of the deep cultural changes to First Nations cultures across the country since pre-contact with European colonizers, treaty-making, colonization and resistance.

Participants took on the role of Canada’s Indigenous peoples standing on blankets that represent the land. Guiding them through the exercise was Fiona Brownlee, Aboriginal and rural churches liaison with the Anglican diocese. She said the program was developed in the 1990s in response to a Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

“It talks a lot about the treaties that happened and how the treaties have not been honoured in the way that they should have been,” said Brownlee.

Add to that the exercise highlights the effect of the Indian residential schools on First Nations’ culture and communities. “The need now is to develop better relationships between our communities.”

Treaties education is one recommendation that came out of the recently concluded Truth and Reconciliation Commission with Alberta being one of the first provinces to integrate that learning, added Brownlee. This will further help the goal of the Blanket Exercise.

The first portion of the exercise goes through the steps of first contact up until the present time. After a short break participants regrouped and in a safe and confidential manner, discussed their thoughts.

“The exercise itself, especially if there’s Indigenous participants like we had today, can bring up a lot of feelings and we need to keep that a safe space,” said Brownlee.

One thing that has stood out for Brownlee is the willingness of churches wanting to know more about First Nations history in Canada and to be better neighbours to Indigenous communities.

“And the fact that I am meeting so many strong, Indigenous leaders who also want to move forward on reconciliation,” she explained.


Just Posted

Big Valley captures Ponoka Lions tournament title

Ponoka’s Medcor Misfits just edged out in B event championship

Calgary Stampede tough on area cowboys

A new buckle was simply not in the cards for some local… Continue reading

Wet conditions hampering haying efforts

Crops throughout central Alberta doing decently for now

New support line available for Alberta farmers

AgSafe Alberta hotline there to help navigate new farm rules and regulations

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

People’s Party of Canada makes a stop in Ponoka

Maxine Bernier speaks at Ponoka Legion

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

Asylum figures show overall slower rate of irregular crossings into Canada

Between January and June 2019, a total of 6,707 asylum seekers crossed irregularly into Canada

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Most Read