The community is invited to an interactive learning experience called The Blanket Exercise. The program teaches the indigenous rights history which organizer say is rarely taught in our schools.
Participants take on the roles of Native Americans. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. They are directed by facilitators representing a narrator and the European colonizers. Participants are drawn into the experience by carrying cards which ultimately determine their outcomes. By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the exercise effectively educates and increases understanding. This exercise is followed by a reflection during which participants have the opportunity to discuss the experience as a group.
This program will be helpful to any agency or individuals in the community who will benefit knowing about generational trauma and cultural diversity.
The facilitator is the Rev. Irvin Porter, associate for Native American Congregational Support with PC(USA). Porter is descended from three Native American tribes: Pima, T’hono O’odham, and Nez Perce and will be coming from Tacoma to present The Blanket Exercise.
Event organizers are friends and members of the First Presbyterian Church of Sandpoint, made possible by a grant from the Bonner County Endowment Fund for Human Rights in the Idaho Community Foundation and in collaboration with the First Lutheran Church.
Do to the sensitive nature of the material presented, this program is not particularly appropriate for children. There is a Blanket Exercise program tailored for high school age student. It is hoped that the educators who attend this one will be inspired to bring that program to their school(s).
The event is free and registration is requested. Register by Tuesday, Oct. 8, by email: email@example.com. Please tell how many will be attending from your organization. Participants, please bring a blanket on which to stand. Questions can be directed to 208-263-2047.
The Blanket Exercise will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 6-8 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church of Sandpoint, 526 S Olive Ave., in Fellowship Hall.