Blanket exercise teaches about colonialism

An interactive blanket exercise on Missions Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, shows members of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., a different way of looking at Canadian history. Indigenous representatives had participants—including Pastor April Yamasaki, front left—stand on blankets representing the land of North America in the years before European settlers came. The exercise had people gradually moving off the blankets and rolling them up as the group went through the history of treaty-making, colonization and resistance. The resulting pockets of people on a few small sections of blanket illustrated indigenous people living in Canada today. ‘Thank you for listening and trying to understand,’ said Mary Fontaine of Hummingbird Ministries. ‘More and more Canadians, more and more Christians, are saying “I’m sorry.” God has helped us survive.’

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