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December 11, 2015

CANADA: Education for Reconciliation

We’re now one month in and beginning to see movement across the country on the Winds of Change campaign. The Education for Reconciliation workshop (found in the Action Toolkit) has been presented at least a dozen times in four out of five KAIROS regions!

Audiences have been as diverse as high school students, church members and political activists, so facilitators are adapting the workshop to suit different situations. In this blog post, Ian Thomson, KAIROS Africa partnerships coordinator, offers creative ways to adapt the workshop for a high school setting. To date, just over 100 people have downloaded the petition. With your help, we look forward to seeing that number grow much, much higher. Downloading the petition is now easier and instantaneous and does NOT require a sign-in. Get your copy now.

The campaign videos are proving to be a popular way to introduce the petition and motivate people to get out and gather signatures. Watch them here.

There are only three months left to complete and mail in as many petitions as you can. One enthusiastic supporter said she was going to make hundreds of copies! If each one of you filled (and mailed to KAIROS) just two or three copies of the petition we would have as many as 90,000 signatures! What a voice for reconciliation that would be!

Stay tuned for the second stage of this campaign beginning early in 2016. It will include campaign updates, webinar training sessions on MLA/MPP visits, and a public statement that like-minded organizations will be asked to sign.

Five Public Event Options to Support the Education for Reconciliation Campaign

The Education for Reconciliation campaign is about engaging people in political action towards implementation of TRC Call to Action 62.i. A great way to get people engaged in activism is by hosting an event. Check out these options and let us know when you have something planned by emailing events@kairoscanada.org. We’ll add your event to our web and Facebook calendars to help your promotion.

1. EDUCATION FOR RECONCILIATION WORKSHOP

This workshop is outlined in the Education for Reconciliation Action Toolkit. It is a 2 hour workshop that can be adapted to suit many contexts. If you are presenting to young people you may want to read about Ian Thomson’s experience facilitating the workshop with high school students. Read his blog post.

2. PETITION SIGNING PUBLIC EVENT WITH GUEST SPEAKERS

Key to this event is having one or more high-profile individuals (VIPs) prepared to sign the petition. These VIPs can be Indigenous leaders, politicians, church leaders, or others with name recognition. Similar to how public cheques are presented, create a huge petition that can be easily seen and photographed. Identify the VIPs in your promotional material and be sure to invite the media. You can augment the signing with a program that includes ceremony, short speeches and music. Bring many copies of the petition for the dignitaries and audience members to sign and take with them.

3. KAIROS BLANKET EXERCISE*

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is a teaching tool that explores the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is a powerful, interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history we’re rarely taught. Training videos, scripts and other resources are available at www.kairosblanketexercise.org. Staff and trained volunteers are available to facilitate the exercise in many areas across Canada. Contact Katy Quinn at kquinn@kairoscanada.org for more information.

4. REFLECTING TOGETHER: A CALL TO RECONCILE WORKSHOP*

The goal of this two-hour workshop is to move to a fuller understanding of what reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people means, and to a deeper spiritual commitment to that reconciliation. It includes a Bible study and an introduction to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

5. FILM SCREENINGS OR BOOK STUDIES*

There are dozens of great films and books on Indigenous rights and reconciliation. See the KAIROS resource Strength for Climbing for suggestions. Turn a book study group into a public event by using a summary of the book as a jumping off point for a general discussion on the Education for Reconciliation themes. You can enhance a film screening by preparing discussion starters that highlight the goals of the Education for Reconciliation campaign.

*Conclude a more general education event with a brief explanation about the Education for Reconciliation campaign, ask for signatures, and pass around copies of the petition for participants to take home.

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