Board game about truth and reconciliation creates controversy
Posted December 4, 2022 8:51 pm.
Last Updated December 5, 2022 9:12 am.
An Indigenous high school teacher-turned-game creator in Vancouver has stirred up some controversy through his board game aimed at teaching kids about truth and reconciliation.
James Corbiere says he created “The Truth in Truth and Reconciliation” to help his students prepare for exams.
“It is intended to teach Canadian History but with an Indigenous point of view,” he explained to CityNews.
The game became such a hit, Corbiere moved ahead to get it published and manufactured so it could be used in classrooms across the country. But when he pitched the game to school boards, there were some aspects that were not enjoyed.
“When the game was pitched to the school boards in Ontario, the Catholic school boards said they wouldn’t use the game unless the shame cards were removed,” he said.
In the game, players can earn “shame cards” by rolling dice and landing on specific markers, where they then answer a question.
One question, for example, is “which of the following churches has not yet apologized for their role in the Indian residential school systems?” An incorrect answer would result in the player receiving a shame card.
“In the notes, I was given, those boards even agreed it was a good game but they didn’t like the shame cards,” Corbiere said.
Assistant Curator at the Bill Reid Gallery, Aliya Boubard, says it is important for Indigenous peoples to share the truth of their experiences.
“Supporting the voice and message of the artist regardless of what it is even if it’s difficult to hear and to learn about — those messages are really important to share,” she said. “It is just important to get the full story out there.”
Corbiere is still working on getting his game published and widely manufactured. He has set up a GoFundMe page to raise $1.5 million to print games specific to each province.
“I would really like to have a B.C. version, one for Alberta, Saskatchewan,” he said. “If people have a better understanding of the past then maybe they won’t make the same mistakes.”