Kairos Canada photo Participants stand on a series of blankets – representing land – for the Kairos Blanket exercise.

Blanket exercise to teach ‘often neglected’ First Nation history

Church groups invite White Rock council, Semiahmoo First Nation to ‘Kairos Blanket’ event

From first contact to the incorporation of residential schools, the Peninsula United Church and South Fraser Unitarians are hosting a workshop Thursday to teach a part of Canadian history that is “often neglected.”

The churches, in collaboration with Indigenous facilitator Malaney Gleeson-Lyall, will host a Kairos Blanket Exercise Thursday from 1-4 p.m. at A Rocha (1620 192 St.).

The exercise is a teaching tool used to share the historic relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

The church groups invited the public and White Rock council to attend the event, however media was asked to not send a reporter to allow participants privacy as they experience the learning opportunity.

Peninsula United Church minister Bruce McAndless-Davis told Peace Arch News Monday that Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell will attend, but that they were told by White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin that he is not able to come. Baldwin, who is the Metro Vancouver representative for the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), is in Whistler this week for the annual convention.

Nobody else from council, McAndless-Davis said, responded to the invitation as of Monday morning.

“In particular, we were concerned about the difficulty it seems that arose in the relationship between the City of White Rock and Semiahmoo First Nation. We thought it would be particularly helpful to continue to do these blanket exercises, but also in this particular case, we thought we would invite White Rock city council in addition to everyone else,” McAndless-Davis said, who is a trained facilitator of the Kairos Blanket Exercise.

McAndless-Davis said that blankets are laid on the ground as a metaphor for land, and every participant is given a colour card and asked to stand on a blanket.

“Generally, people are given a role, which isn’t always apparent until they get further on,” he said.

“At one point, those who have a particular colour card – who have been given that at the beginning of the exercise – are asked to step off because they’ve died of disease, or some will step off the blanket because they were taken to a residential school.”

McAndless-Davis said participants get a very powerful visual representation of what happened.

“You get a physical depiction of what’s happening to First Nations and over the course of the exercise, the blankets get folded and what used to cover the entire floor of the room becomes little pockets where people are crowded.”

Following the exercise, participants are broken off into talking circles where they can share their experience and debrief.

Online registration of the event can be made by searching Kairos Blanket Exercise at www.eventbrite.ca

For more information, call Peninsula United Church at 604-531-2979 or email office@peninsulaunited.com

Just Posted

Police watchdog investigating after pedestrian struck and killed in Surrey

IIO investigating after male killed in crash shortly after being released from police custody

Surrey Mounties say 40 intoxicated teens found on ‘party bus’ in Newton

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Strawberry Hill

PHOTOS: Players putt their way to Las Vegas at Surrey MSOP tournament

Two-day regional qualifier held at Eaglequest Coyote Creek

B.C. cabinet minister denies that Surrey mayor’s friend attended government meeting

Surrey councillor questions Vancouver businessman Bob Cheema’s involvement in official meeting

Electric car-share company to bring 2,000 vehicles to Surrey/White Rock

SUMO is to launch next year with 150 vehicles, and increase to 2,000 by 2022

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

Grand opening of Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery at Chilliwack cause for celebration

Ribbon-cutting with dignitaries, Molson brass and family marked the official grand opening

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

B.C. Ferries wants input on concepts for a Horseshoe Bay terminal re-design

Ferry corporation accepting public feedback until Oct. 13

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Most Read