Colonial Under the Covers: A Critical Examination of the KAIROS Blanket Exercise and Its Limitations as a Decolonial Educational Tool
- Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy
- Penn State University Press
- Volume 30, Number 2, 2020
- pp. 111-126
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Developed by KAIROS, the Blanket Exercise is a celebrated educational tool that uses role-play in an attempt to convey Canadian history from an Indigenous perspective. The goals of the exercise speak to a movement towards truth and reconciliation in Canada, but a content analysis exposes that the exercise is limited in its capacities for supporting a movement towards decolonization. Unangax scholar Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang remind all scholars and educators that decolonization is not a metaphor. If a process is not specifically oriented toward the repatriation of Indigenous lands, it is not a decolonial process. However, as more settlers come to consider decolonization and mobilize it in pedagogical contexts, it has been employed loosely, liberally and without the necessary care. The incompleteness of the narrative and representations in the Blanket Exercise, exacerbated and facilitated by metaphor, reifies a distorted history of Canada. Rather than disrupt settler colonialism it reproduces it. The KAIROS Blanket Exercise cannot function as a decolonial educational tool as it strategically employs metaphors to disengage the material power of decolonization.