- Find a space where two groups can be separated completely and safely.
- Prepare a simple 10-minute activity for the groups to be distracted by while away from the main activity area (this can be drawing, a quick game or art craft, riddles and jokes, story time, etc.).
- Select and prepare the space, having the items for the activity that the youth will be sharing (modeling clay, different fidget toys, toys, cookies & gummy candies on a sheet to make a picture, anything tangible that the youth would be very interested in!) off to the side.
- Prepare a whistle/bell or something to make a specific sound to signify that the activity is on hold and that the attention should be on the Scouters.
- There should be an even amount of youth in the First Lodge/Lair to the Second Lodge/Lair (if the numbers are odd, a Scouter can sit in place of a youth)
- Separate the youth into 2 Lodges/Lairs (“First” group & “Second” group). Share with each group that the following activity may bring up different feelings including feelings of being upset or hurt, but that they are in a safe environment. If they hear the whistle blow, they are to freeze where they are, sit on their hands (so that they are not touching their item) and give their attention to the talking Scouter.
- Ask the first group to stay in the main space and ask the second group to follow their Scouters to the next space for an activity. If Scouter ratio can’t be met, have an engaging second activity that can be within line of sight.
- When the Second group is away, have the First group stand off to the side while the Scouters spread the exciting items (one item per youth) around the room. Once the items are set, Invite the youth to sit by an item and let them know that they will have 5 minutes to play with their item, and not allowed to eat them if edible. (Tip: Youth may need guidance in selecting an item in a fair way). Let them play with their own selected item for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, blow the whistle to ask them to freeze. Have them each give “their” item a name and share one fact about it. Have the whole group stand up, leaving their item in place and swap out with the Second group to do the same 10-min activity that they just did in the other space. Don’t let the Second group know that the items were already played with by members of the first group.
- After 5 minutes, blow the whistle and ask everyone to freeze. Have them each also give “their” item a name and share one fact about it.
- Ask the second group to stand up, leaving “their” item in place and stand in a line against the wall. Invite the first group back to the main activity area and also stand by the wall along with the second group.
- Remind everyone that this is an activity that may make them feel different feelings. Ask them to try to remember the feelings that they feel for later.
- Ask the second group to go sit beside their item without touching it. Remind the groups to acknowledge how this moment makes them feel.
- Ask the first group to also go sit beside their item without touching it (there should now be two youth beside each item). Remind them to acknowledge their feelings in this moment.
- Have the second group point to their item. Explain to the whole group that although the second group found and played with “their” item, the first group actually found it and played with it first before them. Stop and ask them to think about how this makes them feel.
- With new knowledge that the item actually belonged to the first group first, ask them to talk to their first group counterpart about the best way to share fairly. Give them 1-2 minutes being attentive to any escalating behaviours. If their interactions are getting heated, blow the whistle asking everyone to freeze once more. Remind them that this was an activity that caused a lot of different feelings.
- Have the Scouters go around the space collecting the different items to place them in a neutral zone while the rest of the group reflects and reviews.
- Go through the different stages of the activity, asking the youth to share how each stage made them feel in that moment. Listen with an open heart and mind, validating all emotions and reaffirming that those feelings are all normal, and that we all have probably felt them at some point during this activity.
- Explain that the Indigenous peoples have lived here on this land long before Canada became a country and it was even called “Canada”. Others came here later and said that they found it and decided to keep it even though it is not fair. Canada is now trying to do the right thing and share the land back fairly.
- If you had something first, and someone else found it while you were away and said that it was theirs, how would that make you feel? How do you think that the Indigenous peoples felt when new people came to live on their traditional lands?
- Was there a moment during this activity where you felt like the sharing was kind and fair? How did that make you feel? How can you be kind and fair with how you share?
- If we were to give each pair three gummy worms/cookies, how would you share them fairly? (Give each pair three gummy worms/cookies to divide and share amongst themselves)
Keep it Simple
Skip having the youth play with the item, and only have them sit beside the one they like and give it a name. Instead of going through all the stages of the activity and checking for feelings, have an overall discussion about the different feelings that were felt throughout.
Take it Further
- If the activity is going well and the youth are engaged, you may consider continuing for a few minutes to discuss what we are doing in Scouting to respectfully share names and lands.
- Talk about the Spirit Bear’s Guide to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action (link in the resources section) for a youth-appropriate list of actions that can be taken to make things more fair. Do you notice anything on this list that our group can help to take action with?
- Talk about the origin of the name, “Canada”. Information linked in the resources section.