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Indigenizing Education with the Game “When Rivers Were Trails”

Elizabeth LaPensée, Nichlas Emmons

Pages 75 - 93



This publication is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

When the Indian Land Tenure Foundation saw the need to actively respond to concerns regarding the lack of Indigenous-led land-centered knowledge in schools, they collaborated with Indigenous educators and knowledge carriers on the “Lessons of Our Land” curriculum. With the goal of supplementing this curriculum with an interactive way of engaging in knowledge, they collaborated with the Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab at Michigan State University to design and develop a game aimed at middle-school and high-school students in both public and tribally-owned schools. The resulting 2D adventure game “When Rivers Were Trails” has since been play-tested by middle-school and high-school youth across the United States during a pilot study. Results indicate best practices for implementation, including specific discussion topics as well as the role of the game as part of an Indigenization of education.

1 Lessons of Our Land.

2 Land Tenure History.

3 Land Tenure Issues.


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