Monday, August 8, 2016

The Quebec version of the “Blanket Exercise” was developed in Montreal by the Ecumenical Network for Justice, Peace and Ecology (ROJEP) from the version created by Kairos Canada (an ecological justice and human rights organization) in 1997.

This special exercise is presented in order to raise awareness among citizens, of the historical reality of dispossession experienced by Aboriginals in Canada, as well as its consequences today. During this exercise, participants live the historical, territorial, emotional, cultural and spiritual experience of dispossession of the Aboriginals.

The exercise ends with a sharing circle which enables participants to express deep convictions about what affected them as well as pose the questions that arise.

“Intercultural Bridge,” a committee created by IofC and Development and Peace (Canadian Catholic organization) has presented the Blanket Exercise twice in Quebec City, on March 15 with 30 selected individuals, and on May 3 with 45 participants.

Quotes from participants:

- "It made us revisit our history with an outlook that is different from what we had at school"

- "I am happy we are being talked about"

- "We have to learn to know each other before working together.”

The promotion of this activity will continue in the coming months. Both in Montreal at the World Social Forum from August 9 to 14, as well in Quebec City in the Aboriginal community of Wendake in September.

Laurent Gagnon, Joseph Vumiliya, Montreal