The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is a powerful learning experience that explores how Indigenous people have been impacted for generations, by contact with Europeans.
Tens of thousands of KAIROS Blanket Exercises (KBE) have been conducted in Canada and around the world, including in the United States, Guatemala, and Australia. By engaging participants on both emotional and intellectual levels, the KBE is able to both educate and create understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples … in Canada and throughout the world.
On March 8th – International Women’s Day – KAIROS and Kateri Native Ministry, hosted the KBE for other long-time tenant and neighbour organizations at the Bronson Centre – the first time the KBE has been offered to Bronson Centre organizations since its creation in 1997.
Led by Donna Naughton and Hasina Rakotoarisoa from Kateri Native Ministry, and with support from Ed Bianchi, Programs Director with KAIROS, more than 40 participants joined in the journey through history in Mac Hall.
The comments from participants, in the sharing circle that followed and in written feedback, reinforced the impact of the KAIROS Blanket Exercise. Here’s some of what participants shared:
· “I am grateful that indigenous communities share this plus have stronger voice in Canada’s future”
· “… it is very inspirational. The future of Canada lies in diversity and unity.”
· “… further fuels my passion to bring together our communities.”
· “ The elders sharing their knowledge and lived experience was very important and I would have liked to hear more”
· “The elders are very important because they are a living library for us and a source of inspiration for unity.”
· “ … knowing directly from the people that lived the experience is a good form of information.”
· “ … the elders experiences and stories are precious and need to be shared to help those who need convincing to see the real faces behind the history”
The Bronson Centre – with a rich culture of diversity and inclusiveness – is leveraging these assets through the Bronson Hub seniors inclusion project, to increase collaboration and understanding in order to build capacity in our community. With the success of the first KBE at the Bronson Centre, we hope to continue to host the KBE to expand reconciliation efforts throughout our community.