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WCPS PARTICIPATES IN KAIROS BLANKET EXERCISE
The Board of Trustees and other district staff of Wolf Creek Public Schools participated in a Blanket Exercise coordinated by Mrs. Shelagh Hagemann, First Nations, Métis,and Inuit Student Success Coordinator. The script of the exercise is the work of KAIROS but the activity was modified for local context as encouraged by the KAIROS Canada Organization.
This is the second time Lorrie Jess, ward 2 trustee has taken part in this exercise. “Compared to the first time I participated in this ceremony, I was impressed with how Shelagh and Brian improved the format to make it more of a local experience. As participants we understood the impact and could identify with our local areas and surrounding bands.”
The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is a teaching tool that uses participatory popular education to raise awareness of the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. It teaches a history of Canada that most people never learn. Since its creation in 1997, it has been done hundreds of times with thousands of people of all ages and from all backgrounds, by a wide variety of groups that include Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. It is a way to open, or continue, the conversation about decolonization. The exercise is designed to deepen understanding of the denial of Indigenous peoples’ nationhood throughout Canadian history. It explores the major themes and recommendations of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), examines how federal policies and programs impact the lives of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and identifies what Indigenous peoples and their allies are doing to bring about positive change.
The exercise was opened up to WCPS staff to participate alongside Brian Lightning, Shanique Saddleback Littlepoplar and Shaunita Potts from the Samson Band and town. Jeff Ramage, Network Analyst for Wolf Creek Public Schools had this to say, “The exercise was a powerfully moving and informative experience. I can't express enough how much I appreciate the sharing and vulnerability that Brian and the students showed; the process grows empathy and understanding and helps heal relationships.”
Many of the schools in Wolf Creek as well as district office personnel have participated in The Blanket Exercise to create an awareness of the historical and local past of our First Nations community members.
To learn more about the KAIROS Blanket Exercise please visit the KAIROS Canada