News Release

REF NO.: 222

SUBJECT: PSA: Memorial University community invited to participate in Mass Blanket Exercise

DATE: May 31, 2016

Memorial University’s Aboriginal Resource Office is partnering with KAIROS, a national organization that advocates for social change, to participate in the Mass Blanket Exercise taking place from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, in the Great Hall of Queen’s College on the St. John’s campus.

The event will take place in other provinces at the same time to mark one year since the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.

Students, faculty, staff, media and members of the wider community are invited to attend and participate in this informative and powerful experiential learning activity that introduces new learners to the history of relations between Aboriginal peoples and settlers in Canada. Limited parking is available at Queen’s College.


About the Blanket Exercise (KAIROS Canada)

The Blanket Exercise begins with blankets arranged on the floor to represent Canada before the arrival of European explorers and settlers. The participants, who represent Indigenous peoples, begin by moving around on the blankets. While a narrator reads from a script, other participants – representing the Europeans or newcomers - join and begin to

interact with those on the blankets. As the script traces the history of the relationship between Europeans and Indigenous nations in Canada, the participants respond to various cues and interact by reading prepared scrolls. At the end of the exercise only a few people remain on the blankets, which have been folded into small bundles and cover only a fraction of their original area.

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