Where We’ve Been: KAIROS Blanket Exercise Workshop

It was the first time, EARN hosted a KAIROS Blanket Exercise workshop on May 9th, 2019 for all EARN members. What is a KAIROS Blanket Exercise workshop? The KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE) is a unique and interactive history lesson developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators. The KBE covers more than 500 years in a 90-minute experiential workshop that aims to foster understanding about the shared history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

During the KBE, participants walk on blankets representing the land, and into the role of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples by reading scrolls and carrying cards which ultimately determine their outcome as they literally ‘walk’ through situations that include pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Participants are guided through the experience by trained facilitators (who read the script and assume the roles of European explorers and settlers) and Indigenous Elders.

The Exercise concludes with a debriefing, conducted as a `talking circle’, during which participants discuss the learning experience, process their feelings, ask questions, share insights and deepen their understanding.*

This exercise is an enriching story of the realities faced by the Indigenous people from the past and in the present time. Participants from the workshop were blown away with the information shared throughout the morning from our Elders. As the EARN Conference is now less than a couple of weeks away with a focus on intersectionality of diversity, we took the opportunity to explore other diversity pillars to bring awareness to our daily lives in the workplace experience.

To learn more about Intersectionality of Diversity and Disability in the workplace, attend the EARN Conference taking place on Friday, June 7th from 8:00am to 3:00pm at the Ottawa Conference & Event Centre. To purchase your tickets today, please visit: http://earn-paire.ca/event/2019-earn-conference/

*Source: https://www.kairosblanketexercise.org/about/