Manitoba 150 Announces Partnerships to deliver Blanket Exercises

Jun 21, 2021 | Business News and Tips, Front Page, Government News

Manitoba 150 partners with 3 Manitoba organizations to provide 50 Blanket Exercises across the Province


June 21, 2021, WINNIPEG, MB – In partnership with APTN, and in honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, Manitoba 150 is making 50 virtual Blanket Exercises available across the province. The 50 exercises will be offered to members of The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, and Conseil Jeunesse Provincial.

“Manitoba 150 is grateful for the opportunity to share these meaningful, free activities to engage Manitobans in understanding the Indigenous experience in Canada and the lasting effects of colonialism,” said Monique LaCoste and Stuart Murray, co-Chairs of Manitoba 150. “As a province, it is important that we embrace every opportunity to further enrich the ongoing dialogue between Indigenous Peoples and all Manitobans to move forward on the path to reconciliation.”

The virtual “Blanket Exercise” was developed by KAIROS in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators, to inspire communities to engage in truth sharing, dialogue, and a chance to take strength from the past. Each is an opportunity to build more understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.

“APTN is proud to support an initiative that raises awareness on the continuing injustices and impacts of colonization on Indigenous Peoples,” says APTN CEO Monika Ille. “On the path to reconciliation, the virtual exercise encourages positive relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples and brings people together in the spirit of community and solidarity at a time when we need it most.”

Using virtual icons to represent the land, facilitators walk participants through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization, and resistance. Deeply emotional and highly educational, the Blanket Exercise fosters understanding and empathy. One of the essential elements of celebrating the 150th anniversary of Manitoba joining Canada is to engage Manitobans in conversation about diversity and reconciliation.

“We all have so much to learn and this is an opportunity to have a deeper, more personal understanding of our collective history,” said Cathy Cox, Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage. “It is my hope that efforts such as these can help us build bridges between cultures and take strides towards reconciliation.”

As a result of this partnership, KAIROS will increase their capacity and train additional exercise facilitators with the hope that more organizations across Manitoba will be inspired to offer these Blanket Exercises more broadly. By offering these exercises through The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, and Conseil Jeunesse Provincial, we hope the professionals who attend will carry forward the momentum of reconciliation to their large networks. We aim to heighten awareness of the Blanket Exercise and encourage communities to continue to offer these meaningful discourses beyond Manitoba 150.

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