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Students and employees mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Arboretum

Students and employees marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30 by participating in a KAIROS blanket exercise in the Arboretum which taught them the history of Indigenous people in Canada.

Led by the Early Childhood Studies (ECS) program and Cara Loft, professor of Indigenous Social Determinants at Humber and her family, the exercise shared the traumatic events that have shaped Indigenous life for generations in Canada. 

With blankets sprawled vastly across the ground, representing the original land owned by the Indigenous community, the exercise began with enough space for all participants to walk comfortably. By the end, it became clear through settler decisions and government policies that the community had changed forever, with some members being isolated and others passing away due to disease. The exercise was powerful in the demonstration of this loss through interactivity and made an impact the group could feel and relate to.  

Fourth-year ECS student, Mariam Imran was moved by the event.

“It goes without saying that the exercise brought forth immense feelings of emotion and empathy for the First Nations and Metis communities who experienced hardships and obstacles,” Imran said, adding that she found it inspiring. She vowed to continuously raise awareness in her field as an early childhood educator as a result.