Five hundred years ago, the Ojibwe people picked up everything they owned and walked half-way across the continent. No one really knows why.
There is no written history of this event.
I remember the precise moment I first heard about it. I was talking to Debbie Gourneau, from Turtle Mountain, who had been recommended to me as a cultural consultant.
“Hundreds of years ago, the people moved from where they were living to ‘The Land Where The Food Grows on the Water’, that is the area where we are now, where we can gather wild rice.”
She suggested that it would make a perfect backdrop for a game that taught not just history but also mathematics. They need to figure out how long it would take, how much food they needed, whether they could make it to their destination before winter came. Right at that moment, I knew she was right and we had the basis for our next game.
That was where we started with Fish Lake. With a story.
As we wrap up all of the loose ends on Fish Lake, we are now moving on to our next game. It started like this … what if, tomorrow, two teenagers decided to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors and walk a thousand miles, taking no more with them than what they could carry? Would they be able to make it? Or would they end up humiliated, needing to be rescued – or worse – just like everyone warned them?