“Once you know some things, you can’t unknow them. It’s a burden that can never be given away.”
― Alice Hoffman, Incantation
The more that I gradually come to understand about the legacy of harm done by colonization policies in Canada, the more I want to create change in someway. I want to be a part of social change, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the enormity of what needs to be done. For me, I see the Blanket Exercise as being a tool that help make the history of colonization accessible to a wide audience. I have engaged in the activity twice now and each time I have been impacted in different ways. The first time, I was struck by statements about the colonization that presently continues forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples off reserves and into mainstream culture (via unsafe water, crowded housing conditions and inadequate education). The second time, I was contemplating pre and post activities and conversations that need to take place in order to maximize the impact of the Blanket Exercise.
Being an early childhood educator, I am presently not sure if I would use the blanket exercise while teaching these grades (k-3), but I would like to still be a facilitator in whichever learning environment that I find myself in, whether that means facilitating for older grades or using the exercise for community members.
Kairos’ website has access to more information about this exercise.