Thursday, September 21, 2017
Eyes Open for the First Time: Reconciliation
by Dante Bear
I was sitting along the cold, white benches under the arbor watching my class inform the U of R students about the Kairos Blanket Exercise. It begins with the students standing on many different Land (blankets) and the Europeans come to find the many different tribes as being different and begin to reform the uneducated First Nations. I chose not to participate because it’s hard to think about the injustice that was caused by the wasichus (white man), because we were different.
Reconciliation. Not everyone knows what it means. To “reconcile” is a way of coming together, which some people might think is an apology, depending on the way you use it.
The Blanket Exercise – taught to us by Mrs. Koops – is a great insight to a mental picture of the injustice First Nations had to suffer and overcome. I myself believe there isn’t a way to pay for the damages (reconcile) for what happened in the past, but we as proud people accept that as fact. I know my words sound ungrateful, but I think I speak for every First Nations person, you can’t cause mass genocide and just throw money at the people and say sorry. It doesn’t work like that.
So yeah, the Blanket Exercise paints a vivid picture of the past, makes the people think, “What if that was me? What if I was raped, abused, taken away from my family? I don’t think money would fix that.” This us how I picture people doing the Blanket Exercise, as if they were blind, but after they picture what is being taught in front of them, their eyes open for the first time.