Understanding Canadian history through Kairos Blanket Exercise

Northern Lights College held a Kairos blanket exercise Wednesday as a way of speaking on Canadian history using an Indigenous approach.

The Kairos blanket exercise is a workshop that explores the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. During the workshop, blankets are laid on the floor to represent land, and participants are invited to step into the roles of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

The exercise was used to celebrate multicultural month at the NLC's Indigenous gathering space in Dawson Creek on March 15th, 2023.

"Through education and learning, the Kairos blanket exercise aims to build a relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people," said Meesha Beaulieu, vice president of the NLC Student Council and organizer of the workshop.

During the exercise, participants were encouraged to stand on blankets representing the northern part of Turtle Island, otherwise known as North America. The presentation included the history of the residential school system and the settlers' abusive language against Indigenous children.

According to Beaulieu, the exercise invokes many emotions as it is a powerful medium to learn the tragic history of Indigenous communities in Canada.

"Kairos blanket exercise empowers Indigenous people and helps in their healing journey, and it's the history that many Canadians have not been taught at schools," she noted.

The exercise included an Elder's prayer, participants sharing personal experiences, and a smudging practice.

NLC Student Council and Indigenous Education department said they want to host more creative educational workshops in the future to raise awareness about the lost stories of Indigenous people.

Manavpreet Singh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Energeticcity.ca