Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Kairos Blanket


From Miranda

The Kairos Blanket Exerise was run through Michael's school. The teachers were encouraged to join, and parents were invited to sign up. There were only 5 parents there, everyone else was staff at the school (and a couple of staff from other schools that were friends of the staff members attending). 

To start, Randy introduced himself in Blackfoot then had us all say hello and introduce ourselves in Blackfoot. Oki is hello. This is a bit of the language as I know it is easier to hear the words than to try and sound things out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwOB_rq7xEI

The elder then said a prayer to creator to guide us through the exercise in the spirit of love and togetherness.

There are several blankets on the floor, and everyone receives scrolls. They also pass out dolls, bison, colored index cards, some trading goods, and then everyone is asked to find a spot on a blanket. The "Colonizers" start out friendly, shaking hands and sharing things. They take a little bit of land around the edges, but everything still feels comfortable. They start giving out blankets to the people who have no goods. And then people start dying. People are stripped of their status so they have to stand nearby on the floor. People go to residential schools, and are displaced to unfamiliar areas. The babies get taken from parents and put alone on a blanket.  By the end, a few people are standing, mostly alone and with little space left.

It's well set up so that you really feel like you can't do much to keep your space and resources. The amount of blanket space is reduced slowly, and the colonizers give you good reasons to share your land with them, at first. Your rights are slowly stripped away and you lose everything. And when you are feeling raw and drained by the end of the exercise, Randy shared his personal experiences in Residential Schools and TB Sanitariums.  

To debrief, there is a sharing circle. Everyone has a chance to comment on what rocked them, what sticks out and what they want to leave with (Rock, Stick and Leaf). There were very few people who could make it through without tears. It was a lot of sitting in discomfort.

So that is my brief recap of it. It was a very powerful empathetic experience. I really recommend it to anyone who is able to attend.

Miranda

P.S. Please feel free to share any of this. I just noticed I was responding just to you

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