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Indigenous elders lead online interactive sessions to foster reconciliation

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Image: KAIROS Blanket Exercise logo

Fostering positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through truth, sharing and open dialogue is the aim of a KAIROS online series called KBE Teaching and Sharing Circles, which begins its winter sessions on Tuesday, January 19 at 7 p.m. EST.

Indigenous elders and traditional knowledge keepers will lead the two-hour interactive Zoom sessions on various topics including the impacts of residential schools and the doctrine of discovery. Based in Indigenous worldviews and using Indigenous traditions and protocols, each KBE Teaching and Sharing Circle addresses historical and contemporary topics in an honest and personal way by blending data and facts with personal stories.  

KBE Teaching and Sharing Circles -- launched in the fall of 2020 to complement the KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE) -- is an interactive and experiential teaching tool that explores the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the land we now know as Canada.

KAIROS also offers private group KBE Teaching and Sharing Circles sessions of up to 40 participants for schools and educational institutions, community groups and employers. These sessions can be booked by contacting Carole Umana at cumana[at]karioscanada.org.  

The presenters are: Mary-Anne Kechego, a member of the Turtle Clan of the Oneida Nation; Tina Stevens, an Algonquin-Ojibwe woman from Kitigan Zibi, Kettle and Stoney Point; Gloria Thomson, a Métis woman, born and raised in Thunder Bay; and, Tracey Whiteye, is Makwa Dodem, Bear Clan, whose spirit name is Polar Bear Woman Who is Looking Ahead from the Water. She is Lenaapeew/ Anishinaabe kwe and comes from the Elunaapeewii Lahkeewiit First Nation, known as Delaware Nation of the Thames.

For presenter bios, visit KBE Teaching and Sharing Circles.

The first session -- All My Relations -- begins Tuesday, January 19, 7 to 9 p.m. EST. Sessions run through to April.

Visit the KAIROS Blanket Exercise event page for a full listing and to register.

"The powerful stories presented in the KBE Teaching and Sharing Circles are a testament to the struggle and resilience of Indigenous peoples and offer non-Indigenous participants a way to hear the truth and work towards reconciliation," says Carole Umana, Ontario South/Southwest Regional Director, KAIROS Blanket Exercise.

KAIROS Canada is a social justice organization that includes 10 Canadian churches and religious organizations. We are Indigenous, settlers and newcomers in Canada working with people of faith or conscience all over the world for ecological justice and human rights. We deliberate on issues of common concern, advocate for social change and join with people of faith and goodwill in action for social transformation. Learn more: www.kairoscanada.org.

Image: KAIROS Blanket Exercise logo

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