The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history we’re rarely taught. Developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples—which recommended education on Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation, the Blanket Exercise covers over 500 years of history in a one and a half hour participatory workshop.

Blanket Exercise participants take on the roles of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. They are directed by facilitators representing a narrator (or narrators) and the European colonizers. Participants are drawn into the experience by reading scrolls and carrying cards which ultimately determine their outcomes. By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates and increases empathy. Ideally, the exercise is followed by a debriefing session in which participants have the opportunity to discuss the experience as a group. This often takes the form of a talking circle.

Many of the volunteers have a United Church background, and all share a passion for the work of truth and reconciliation, following in Jesus' footsteps. The KAIROS Blanket Exercise effectively teaches and engages participants both intellectually and emotionally. The exercise expands the capacity of God's people to respond with joyful service and inclusive fellowship. Meetings are held based on requests from the community, and anyone at Trinity United is welcome to attend a session and to participate as volunteers in the future.

To find out more please contact Trinity United Main Office at 250-563-9167 or via e-mail.