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This post is one of many conversations taking place in anticipation of Inspire 2022, set to happen in Tinley Park (a suburb of Chicago, Illinois) on August 4–6, 2022. Sign up to receive Inspire 2022 emails, which include the latest news on speakers, special opportunities, registration, and more. We hope to see you there!

The Blanket Exercise is a tool that literally walks participants through the history of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States. This exercise will help participants understand why reconciliation is needed and how to take steps toward reconciliation and new relationships.

Blankets are a source of warmth and comfort. For a child, a special blanket can be a reminder of safety, comfort and protection.

Historically, blankets were given as a gift, expressions of peace and friendship. Sadly, blankets were also used for destructive purposes. They were offered as gifts, infected with contagious diseases such as smallpox with the purpose of spreading the disease to annihilate large number of Indians.

Today, we use blankets as a teaching tool.


  • Shannon Perez - Justice and Reconciliation Mobilizer in Canada
  • Viviana Cornejo - Racial Curriculum and Instruction Specialist

To register for Inspire and this workshop (and other great workshops hosted by Race Relations!), please visit:

This workshop will be taking place on Friday, August 5th, 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM 

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