Kairos Blanket Exercise – Checklist

The Kairos Blanket Exercise (KBE) is a 90-minute experiential activity that aims to foster understanding of the shared history and nation to nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. The exercise is followed up with the opportunity for reflection and sharing of thoughts in the form of a sharing circle, led by an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper.

In Spring 2019, a group of BU faculty and staff participated in facilitator’s training, certifying them to facilitate this exercise, partnering with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers.

If faculty or staff are interested in having their department or class take part in this exercise, the following provides you with important information.

Initiating Request

Requests for the KBE can be sent to Erica Brown, Learning & Development Program Manager browne@brandonu.ca, who will:

  • put a call out to KBE facilitators with the request, proposed date and times
  • arrange to have facilitators joined by a Knowledge Keeper (if the requestor has not already identified an individual)
  • reserve the KBE facilitator’s kit for the event

Preparing for the Exercise

The exercise is co-facilitated by certified trainers, alongside an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper. The standard honorarium for the Knowledge Keeper is $200, unless it is considered a part of their responsibility under an alternate contract with BU.

The faculty or department requesting the exercise is responsible for covering the cost of the honorarium. Payment is to be presented to the Knowledge Keeper on the day of the event.

  • Submit cheque request to Accounts Payable in Financial & Registration Services two weeks in advance to the event Contact: Lidia Lohr, Accounts Payable Clerk, F & R Services lohrl@brandonu.ca

It is respectful to present a small gift of tobacco or other culturally relevant item (e.g. package of tea, cloth) to the Knowledge Keeper(s).

  • Prepare or purchase item and present the first time you meet, which in this case may likely be at the event.

The event often includes a smudge.

  • When booking your location for the activity, be sure to inquire about whether or not the room is equipped appropriately (e.g. ventilation) or identify a close space outside.
  • When advertising, advise of smudging in advance so that anyone with health- related concerns (or other) are aware and accommodations can be made.
  • The event is most effective when you have a minimum of 20 participants. The maximum number really depends on the size of your space, with the ideal cap being anywhere from 40 – 50 people.
  • Book a room on campus that has a large open space for the exercise itself and chairs that can be placed in a circle around the room for the follow-up sharing circle. Such spaces on campus include, but are not limited to:
    • He Oyate Tawapi/Ceremony Room – Main Floor, BU Health Studies Complex Contact: Michelle McFarlin, Administrative Assistant, Dean’s Office (Faculty of Health Studies) mcfarlinm@brandonu.ca
    • The Gathering Space – Main Floor, BU Library (John E. Robbins Library) Contact: Becky Lane, Administrative Assistant, BU Library Main Office laneb@brandonu.ca

Facilitators will bring the materials needed for the KBE, however, requestors/organizers are asked to provide the following:

  • Kleenex box
  • Refreshments are not necessary, but please do provide a few pitchers of water and cups
  • Parking passes for Knowledge Keepers, if required
  • Prepare a sign-in sheet

Day of the Exercise

  • Arrive early to greet guests, facilitators, and Knowledge Keeper(s)
  • Have guests sign-in as they arrive
  • Present the cheque to the Knowledge Keeper when they arrive
  • Present the small gift to the Knowledge Keeper at the start of the exercise, inviting them to share their knowledge with the group or afterwards, as a thank you
  • Provide a land acknowledgment at the start, recognizing the traditional territories that you are on, the treaties that were made on the lands, and the first peoples who resided on these lands.
  • Acknowledge that people are impacted by the exercise differently and that the space you are in is intended to be a safe space for all. Facilitators and Knowledge Keeper(s) are available to talk with during and after the exercise.

Following the Exercise

  • Check in with participants who may be having a difficult time
  • Provide a copy of the sign-in sheet to Erica Brown for the purpose of tracking statistical data in Avanti. The number of sessions on campus and participants will also be shared with the KBE Regional Coordinator.