Blanket Exercise

The Blanket Exercise is organized annually―sometimes multiple times per year― by Spiritual Enrichment. The program seeks to deepen understanding of how the nation status of Indigenous peoples has been denied throughout Canada’s history. It explores the primary themes and recommendations of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, examines how federal policies and programs affect the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and identifies what Indigenous peoples and their allies are doing to bring about positive change.

Introduction to Cree

An introductory workshop to French and Cree was organized by USB’s Continuing Education Division (CED) through a partnership with Indigenous Languages of Manitoba. The workshop was held on April 19 and 26 and May 3, 2018.

Immersive journeys into Indigenous culture organized by Spiritual Enrichment.

Presentations have been held at USB, such as the roundtable Leçons de réconciliation : les séquelles des pensionnats autochtones et des pistes de solution [Lessons of reconciliation: the consequences of residential schools and ways forward], on March 9, 2016. For an audience of approximately one hundred people, seven (7) invited panellists described their experiences surrounding their Indigenous origins and residential schools while proposing solutions for Francophone and Indigenous peoples to work together to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Raising awareness about violence against women

A presentation by the School of Social Work took place on March 26, 2015, to raise awareness in the community about violence against Indigenous women and to honour the memory of the missing and murdered Indigenous women.

A special event to commemorate the 14 victims of the Polytechnique massacre and to reflect on violence against women was held in the Étienne Gaboury Student Centre at USB on December 6, 2019. White ribbons and pins were distributed. Fourteen candles were lit by 14 different people as photos of the victims were displayed on a screen. One minute of silence was observed. This commemoration was a moment to reflect on present-day violence, which affects Indigenous women in particular. The ceremony began and concluded with an Indigenous invocation to the beat of a drum. Three red dresses, symbolizing missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, were hung above the stage. Université de Saint-Boniface would like to make this an annual event.

The impact of residential schools in Canada

A public forum, in September 2014, featured speakers such as Marie Wilson, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Ry Moran and Madeleine Basile. The forum opened with the photography exhibit 100 Years of Loss by the Legacy of Hope Foundation, presented in the USB Gallery from September 29 to October 31, 2014. For more information on the exhibit, visit the website:

Partnerships and collaborations

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) was established at the University of Manitoba in partnership with universities, colleges and other organizations across the country. Université de Saint-Boniface is one of these partners. Our contribution is unique, given our role as protector and promoter of the French language, as well as our continuing contribution to the development of the Manitoban Francophonie as a whole. As a minority institution located in a specific geographical space and rooted in a unique historical context, USB has notably committed to offer diverse courses and initiatives that reflect this reality and to strengthen its ties with the Métis community. As part of its partnership with the NCTR, USB intends to collaborate on mutually beneficial activities.

Partnership between the CED and the Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba

Recognizing the need to provide its teaching staff with credible and reliable content about Indigenous and Métis peoples, USB’s Continuing Education Division (CED) created a partnership with the Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba (UNM) to create new educational material on these themes. Thanks to funding from the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), USB will be responsible for creating 10 thematic units or “real-life tasks,” which will be added to the LINC program curriculum. The UNM’s expertise has been called on not only to steer the CED in its choice of themes but also to validate the content created for the guides, workbooks and assessment tools. This collaborative approach will enable the CED to reliably recount the history of the Métis of Manitoba in the classroom.

Through the CED, USB offers Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) for beginning levels (Canadian Language Benchmarks – CLB 1 to 4). These courses help individuals who are permanent residents to learn one of the official languages and thereby improve their ability to settle in Canada. The CED uses a variety of themes related to settlement in its program as primary material for teaching French (education, health, employment, etc.).


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