Loading articles...

Nunami: new board game highlights Inuit culture, values

MONTREAL (CityNews) — As board games regain popularity during the pandemic, a new game is teaching Canadians about Indigenous culture, traditions and land.

Nunami is a new Inuit-designed board game that’s all about exploring the Canadian tundra while having fun at the same time.

The game’s creator, Thomassie Mangiok, hopes it will teach people values like how to live together.

“A really good way to share a culture and things that I value would be through an experience,” said Mangiok, explaining the thought process behind creating the game. “How do we experience things? Many ways, but gaming is fun.

“The game Nunami itself encourages people to play efficiently with limited resources while having fun experiencing how it is to live up north.”

Nunami means “on the land” in Inuktitut, one of the main Inuit languages. Two to four players complete the game by arranging hexagonal tiles in creative ways.

Unlike most other competitive board games, Nunami sets itself apart by finding a balance between nature and animals. The players need to carefully use resources to ensure none of the characters starve.

“Our belief very closely where we’re equal to animals,” said Mangiok. “We are animals as well. For example, if I kill a seal, I will give it water so it’s not thirsty as it’s passing away.

“This is something I’m sharing through Nunami, though the board game. I’m not only sharing this with other people from other nations, other cultures, but also encouraging us Inuit to remember this, to value this, to keep this value close to us.”

Mangiok wants people living outside of his community of Ivujivik, which is located at the northernmost tip of Quebec, to understand his culture.

He says it makes him proud to see his game, which has Inuktitut wording on the cover, up on store shelves.