Please find below answers to frequently asked questions about the KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE)
If you don’t find an answer to your question, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that due to the pandemic, we have instituted physical distancing guidelines for all in-person KBEs. For more information, please visit our Updates page for COVID-19 Updates.
Booking a KBE
How Long is a KBE? An in-person KBE has three parts: an introduction, an interactive activity, and a talking circle. For adults, this process can take anywhere between 2 and 4 hours, depending on the size of the group. KAIROS recommends 3 hours for adult groups of 30-50 people, and 2 hours for youth groups of up to 30 participants.
How Much Space Do You Need? The space should be large enough to accommodate chairs placed in a circle for each participant and each member of the facilitation team. The blankets / sheets that are used in the exercise are laid down in the middle of the circle of chairs.
How many blankets / sheets are used? The number of blankets / sheets is based on the number of participants. Typically, 1 blanket is used for 2-3 participants. So, for example, a KBE with 30 participants would require 10-15 blankets.
What are the Minimum /Maximum Number of Participants? The minimum number of participants to successfully run a KBE is 15. The ideal number of participants is between 30-40. Groups larger than 40 can be accommodated, but will need additional time, facilitators, and planning. The largest KBE to-date involved approximately 850 participants. Check out how the KAIROS Blanket Exercise Touches the Heart of 800 Youth.
Is the KBE available in different languages? The adult KBE is available in English, French, and Spanish. There is also a bilingual English / French version. The youth KBE is available in English and French, and there is also a bilingual English / French version.
Who can participate in the KBE? The KBE is for everyone! Please see our page Who Should Do the KBE for more information.
What ages are appropriate for the KBE? The youth KBE is ideally suited for people in grades 7-10. The adult KBE is suitable for youth in grades 11 and 12, particularly those in Indigenous or Native studies courses.
We are currently developing a script for children in grades 4-6. Please stay tuned for updates.
Where can I experience a KBE? Most of our KBEs are requested by private groups or hosts. Occasionally there are KBEs that are open to the public. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
If you have a group of 15 people or more who can come together, we’d love to bring the KBE to you! Please fill in our request form to receive a cost estimate.
Is the KBE accessible? KAIROS is committed to making the KBE accessible to everyone. We have worked with groups in many contexts to adapt the script and activity for people with different abilities. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What other programs does KAIROS offer? In addition to the in-person KAIROS Blanket Exercise, in Fall 2020 KAIROS launched two new initiatives: the virtual KBE (vKBE) and the KBE Teaching & Sharing Circles. The virtual KBE builds on the main foundations of the in-person KBE and adapts it for an online environment, while maintaining the participatory and interactive nature. For more information on the vKBE, please visit the Programs Page.
The KBE Teaching & Sharing Circles are interactive Zoom-based sessions designed to build positive relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people through truth, sharing, and open dialogue. Led by Indigenous Knowledge Keepers with extensive experience facilitating the KBE, these online circles are based in Indigenous worldviews and follow Indigenous teachings and protocols. For more information on the KBE Teaching & Sharing Circles, including how to book one for your group, please visit the Programs Page.
What is the difference between a KBE and a virtual KBE? The virtual KBE builds on the main foundations of the in-person KBE and adapts it for an online environment. The vKBE is still an interactive and participatory experience. For more information on the vKBE, please visit the Programs Page.
What can I do if I’ve already participated in a KBE? We encourage you to visit our Beyond the KBE page for ideas on what you can to do after you’ve experienced the KBE!
I’ve facilitated the KBE and want to lead it for my community. How do I get access to the script? In 2018, in response to feedback from Elders and Indigenous facilitators, KAIROS embarked on a new process for the KBE program that emphasizes the safety of participants and the facilitation team. Changes to the program include requiring that each facilitation team be Indigenous led, and training for all facilitators. Please visit the KBE Community Principles page for more information on the foundations of the new KBE program.
For more information on becoming a facilitator or partner, please visit the Become a Facilitator or Partner page.
Can I experience a KBE if I live outside Canada? Yes! Please contact the KBE Global and Newcomer Coordinator for more information.
In recent years, we have partnered with Indigenous people and organizations in the United States, Australia, Ecuador, and Guatemala. These groups have adapted the KBE script for their contexts. For more information, please contact the KBE Global and Newcomer Coordinator.
How long in advance do I need to book a KBE? Please reserve your KBE a minimum of 4 weeks in advance of your preferred date. In regions with high volume, such as Southern Ontario, please reserve your KBE at least 6 weeks in advance.
For special requests, including those involving extensive travel, different language requirements, large groups, etc., please reserve your KBE at least 6 weeks in advance.
How much does it cost to host a KBE? When you submit your request form, you will be provided with an estimate. For more information on booking a KBE, please visit our page Request a KBE.
Fees are based in part on the location of the KBE, the number of participants, language requirements, and special accommodations. To ensure that cost is not a barrier to experiencing the KBE, KAIROS uses a sliding fee scale and provides subsidies for groups with limited budgets. KAIROS prioritizes subsidies for Indigenous communities and community groups, youth-led groups, newcomer groups, and grassroots movements.
In addition to enabling subsidies, the fees support resource development, such as scripts and training modules, and compensation for all members of the national KBE program, including Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, facilitators, Regional Directors, Program Coordinators, and other staff. All fees collected are returned to the KBE program, which receives significant support from KAIROS, a charitable, not-for-profit organization. The KBE program does not receive government funding.
I’m a teacher. Can I do the KBE with my students? KAIROS is happy to bring the KBE to your classroom. Currently, the youth KBE is best suited for students in Grades 7-10, and the adult KBE can be used for students in Grades 11-12. An elementary KBE is currently in development for kids in Grades 4-6.
We have developed additional informational sheets for teachers. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
What do I need to know to book a KBE? In addition to a potential date, it’s important for us to know approximately how many participants you will be expecting, the city or region where you’ll be holding the KBE, your language preferences, and the age group (adults or youth).
On the Request Form, you can indicate if you have flexibility with the date or time you’ve requested.
Will there be an Indigenous Elder or Knowledge Keeper at my KBE? Based on our protocols, all facilitation teams will include the leadership of at least one Indigenous facilitator. Sometimes, Elders or Knowledge Keepers will take on a facilitation role in addition to the Elder role. If you are interested in inviting an Elder or Knowledge Keeper in addition to the facilitators, please let your Regional Director know. Please note there is an additional fee for the Elder.
We recommend having additional Elders be part of all-Indigenous KBEs for additional mental health support.
Can the KBE be delivered outside? Yes, the KBE can be facilitated outside but additional preparation is required. When booking an outdoor location, it is recommended that an indoor space also be reserved in case of rain or inclement weather.
Things to keep in mind for outdoor KBEs:
Is it a quiet location away from traffic? Is it a location with direct sunlight or shade? Is the location relatively clean? Is it accessible? Will you be able to accommodate the needs of participants and facilitators, such as chairs, microphones, water, etc.?
How should my organization prepare to host a KBE? Based on our experience, we recommend:
- appointing one key contact and a backup contact person who will be responsible for communicating with your participants, as well as greeting the facilitation team the day of your KBE
- sending out information (i.e. the KBE video, or the link to What is the KBE page) to your participants prior to your KBE. This is an important step to help prepare for the safety of your participants
- the key contact would also be responsible for preparing the tobacco protocols (please see our page on Indigenous Rights for more information). They may also be responsible for offering the tobacco to the Elder at the beginning of your KBE
- after your KBE, planning a way to follow up with your participants to check on their mental health. This could be a collective debrief process, or reminders about Employee supports available to them