A Chance to Understand


This month, the Historical Society’s gathering will be held in cooperation with St. Thomas’ Anglican Church as together we experience the KAIROS Blanket Exercise.  This free event will be held Thursday, March 22, 7pm, in the Parish Hall at St. Thomas’ on Centre Street in Millbrook.

The facilitator for the evening will be Frank Tyrrell, who was appointed as an Ambassador of Reconciliation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.  He has led many of these interactive workshops that take participants through 500 years of the history of Indigenous rights in a stirring 90 minute, participatory session.  The evening promises to deepen understanding of why and how the relationship between our Indigenous peoples and ourselves as a settler society was broken, and open up possibilities and opportunities for healing.

Standing on blankets that represent the land, participants are invited to walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance, adopting roles by reading scrolls or carrying cards that ultimately determine their outcomes.  This effective educational exercise engages on both an emotional and an intellectual level, and a short circle discussion afterwards allows the group to debrief and share reactions.

As a historical society we acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Anishinabe Mississauga, adjacent to Haudenosaunee Territory and in the territory covered by the Williams Treaty.  The Blanket Exercise gives us the chance to take this acknowledgement beyond words to an appreciation of the history of where we live.

All are welcome to come and learn about our rarely-taught Canadian Indigenous history.  Parking is available at the rear of the church (continue up Manor Drive), and refreshments will be served.

By Celia Hunter

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