Well, that was our initial response. But we also let Dr. Erich Longie — an enrolled member in the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation, educator (having served as tribal college president and reservation school board president), Indian activist and key member of this game’s development process — address this topic on our parent company blog.
According to Dr. Longie:
[What] is most important to me is that the game’s theme is based on our Dakota culture. Students will be exposed to our culture from my, a Dakota wicasa’s (Indian man’s) point of view. Not the romanticized version, not the Indians are uncivilized savages version, but my version.
You can read his full take here.
Unlike many companies or individuals who embark on a “Save the poor Native Americans” campaign, we’re not out to play savior to anyone. We have worked on the reservation for more than two decades. We understand the needs of the populations we serve – and never in our 20-plus years have we had an Indian come up to us and ask to be “saved.”
Our goal is to do what we do best: provide educational resources in an effort to foster effective learning.
With many of our staff having come from disadvantaged, underserved and minority backgrounds, we are especially driven to serve and give back to those communities as we truly believe all students are capable of learning and excelling in the classroom if given the right tools.