Mennonite Heritage Village invited the public to experience the Kairos Blanket Exercise on Tuesday as part of a new initiative called “All My Relations.”
“It's common phrase in Indigenous cultures and they really believe the value of your relatives and your family and then extending that beyond, with your world around you,” says Gary Dyck, Executive Director of MHV. “And I think that fits just perfectly with the Mennonite culture and values to family.”
The Kairos Blanket Exercise (KBE) is developed in collaboration with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and educators, and is an interactive and experiential teaching tool that explores the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the land we now know as Canada.
During this workshop, participants walk on blankets representing the land and into the role of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. They are guided by trained facilitators, including an Indigenous Elder, who cover a variety of topics including pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization, and resistance. Participants read scrolls and respond to cues in the script. The KBE concludes with a debriefing, conducted as a talking circle.
Dyck says M.H.V. will offer a variety of opportunities for us to learn more about Indigenous culture.
“At M.H.V. we start with our own culture and heritage of course, but we also want to extend that further,” he says. “So, for the month of September and even October, we're going to be working on presenting a couple of different special things on Indigenous culture.”
All My Relations series, Unpacking the Doctrine of Discovery with Josh Dueck
Sep 29 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Doctrine of Discovery has become a buzzword in the media and in conversations connected to Truth and Reconciliation. This evening’s conversation will unpack this and better equip Settler-Canadians in more thoroughly understanding how historic wrongs (including the church) have created present barriers for Indigenous people. It will challenge us to consider what our next steps are towards meaningful reconciliation.
National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
MHV will be open on National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. There will be free admission and handouts for a self-guided reconciling history walking tour. Visitors are also encouraged to visit the Dirk Willems Peace Garden and take time to reflect and pray for the healing for our nation throughout the day.