News & Events

Apr 29, 2022

Strathcona CPC brings the Kairos Blanket Exercise to Admiral Seymour Elementary students

Twenty pairs of eyes and ears were focused on the seated figure of Elder Kat Norris. The circle of chairs surrounding her as the grade 7 students at Admiral Seymour Elementary School listened to the stories of the residential school survivor as she taught them how her people, and so many others, were treated not that long ago here in Canada, or as it was known to them previously, Turtle Island.

A single student, overcome with emotion, moves to sit by her feet, head bowed respectfully and receives a caring hug and look from Kat as she continues.

Elder Kat Norris is Coast Salish of the Lyackson First Nation.

This scene was part of a powerful experience known as the Kairos Blanket Exercise. Your Strathcona CPC brought this workshop to the students as part of our Diversity and Inclusion Program. This program aims to create neighbourhood harmony and safety through programs designed to increase the connection, and understanding of an incredibly diverse community of people.  The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an experiential workshop that explores the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Blankets arranged on the floor represent land and participants are invited to step into the roles of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples. This session was led beautifully by facilitators Janice (Boothroyd) and Katelyn Sparrow (Musqueam).

This session was the culmination of the past few weeks of learning for these students as they learned more about the history of settlers and colonizers coming to Canada. After the session was over, all participants sat together and shared a meal as they discussed what they had learned, and shared stories and laughs. The students eagerly showed Elder Kat their dioramas they had created depicting residential school scenes, and their accompanying essays. Kat share how heart warming it was to see our next generation understanding more and more about her people's experience.

This experience was made possible by SCPC Volunteer Ashley who earned a grant from an SFU Student Community Engagement Competition. 

To learn more about our Diversity and Inclusion Program, please contact us or visit our volunteer page to find out how you can get involved.