Important: Before registering for this workshop, please read through the information provided carefully.
Developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers and educators, the KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE) is an interactive and experiential teaching tool that explores the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the land we now know as Canada.
During this workshop, participants step on blankets representing the land and into the role of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. They are guided by trained facilitators, including Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, who work from a script that covers pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization, resistance and much more. Participants read scrolls and respond to cues in the script. The KBE 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.
Over the past two decades, thousands of Blanket Exercises have been delivered in Canada and around the world, including in the United States, Central and South America, Europe, and Australia. By engaging participants on both emotional and intellectual levels, the KBE both educates and creates empathy and understanding.
Virtual KAIROS and Self-Care
KAIROS has developed a virtual KAIROS Blanket Exercise workshop. This online session honours the experiential and participatory elements of the in-person KBE, while making adjustments for a safe experience in an online environment. Please be aware, that the Blanket Exercise walks through emotionally heavy content, including residential schools, the 60s scoop, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and other instances of colonial violence.
We know from the experiences of other Waterloo participants that it is important to consider and utilize the following before, during and after the workshop:
- The workshop is three hours in length, but most people require time afterward for self-care and reflection. Ensure you leave yourself space in your calendar for these essential pieces.
- Access help if it is needed. Campus and online supports can be accessed through Campus Wellness, which include student-specific and employee-specific supports (e.g., the Employee Assistance Program).