from Valerie Pruegger (Valerie.Pruegger@gov.calgary.ab.ca)
This exercise can be used to get people thinking about where they are from, and how many generations they have been in Canada compared to others. We often forget that Canada is a nation of very recent immigrants, and that our families have not been here that long.
1. Establish a central place in the room. Point out north, south, east and west.
Say "this is downtown Calgary. Given where you live in Calgary, stand in relation to downtown." Participants should begin to move to various quadrants of the room. For example, someone living in Bridgeland would stand close to the downtown circle, slightly to the NE, whereas someone living in Midnapore would stand far away to the SE. Go around the room and ask people what community they are in.
2. Now ask folks to stand in relation to Calgary given where they were born. Again, go around the room and ask people where they are. You will probably find that some are now standing in other provinces, or overseas. Ask each participant where s/he is.
3. In the third round, people can be asked to stand where their mother or father was born. More people will now be standing out of Calgary. Ask each participant where s/he is.
4. In the fourth round, stand where grandmother or grandfather was born. Ask each participant where s/he is.
5. Stand where great-grandmother or great-grandfather was born. Ask each participant where s/he is. At this point, most people in the room will be out of Canada. This fact can be commented on.
6. Stand where great-great-grandmother or great-great-grandfather was born. Ask each participant where s/he is. At this point, most people in the room will be out of Canada. This fact can be commented on. It is also interesting to note, that many EuroCanadians, will not know their family history this far back. Why is this? This can be a point of discussion around effects of discrimination.
The game can go
through as many iterations as you like. However, by the fifth generation, the
point has been made.