Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) is hosting a Kairos blanket exercise.
A Kairos blanket exercise is an exercise that has participants doing various movements with blankets surrounding a facilitator who tells a story about the shared history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The group will join Elder Karen Jolly in promoting reconciliation through education and understanding.
Gary Dyck with MHV says it is very interactive and a unique activity to learn history with, and anyone can attend.
“Just come with an open heart, and ready to learn and engage with the material.
He says this is about learning our past so that we can work toward reconciliation in the present.
“There's a lot of history there and some of it is definitely hard to hear sometimes, but it's good to for us to know our history. To be apathetic or ignorant of it, means we forget it.”
Not only is it about reflecting on our past, but also about realizing the realities of the Indigenous population today.
“Often we just see how it is today, but there is some major underlying stuff, and so to learn that past is very important for people to engage with it better.”
Dyck says they are holding this even as it’s the 150-year anniversary of Mennonites coming to Manitoba and settling in this land, and MHV wants to honour their Indigenous neighbours.
“We had these treaties and there was a relationship there and a friendship and that's supposed to continue as long as the sun rises and the waters flow and the grass grows,” he says. “And so we want to recognize where we came to this land, and we've been very fortunate that we've received so much blessing and benefit from it, and we need to still be good neighbors ourselves.”
MHV held an event like this a year ago, and Dyck says it was very powerful.
“There were people of all ages there and even a couple of Indigenous people from the community. I'm noticing there are Indigenous people, more and more, living in our community.”
He says it’s a good time to be together learning as a community.
“I think there's so much that we don't know and we don't hear, so this is getting our history right so we can get our future right.”
This Kairos blanket exercise is taking place this Saturday, February 3rd at 2pm at Mennonite Heritage Village.
To register for this free event, go to mhv.ca under events.
Dyck says usually the price would be $50-100, but thanks to a grant they are able to provide the event free to the community.
MHV will provide blankets or you can bring your own. Space is limited so sign up soon.
With files from Carly Koop