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Sameer Singh

Presentation: Exploring Wâhkôhtowin: Prototyping an Indigenous/historical boardgame for the education market

This session will invite participants to help us test the Exploring Wâhkôhtowin board game, an Indigenous-centric game that takes place in Treaty 6 Territory (Alberta & Saskatchewan) based on historical events. It is designed to help non-Indigenous students in junior/high school understand the meaning of the Treaties signed between Indigenous Nations and the Crown during colonization.

Each player in the game represents an Indigenous family possessing the knowledge, skills, and resources for survival. As players move through the rounds, the event cards guide them through major events in the history of our shared territories. Players will move through the simulation of experiences associated with resource scarcity, illness, Treaties, and various policy/legislative actions that characterized the settlement of the Prairies before and after Confederation leading up to the start of the 20th Century.

This project was developed jointly between the Edmonton Shift Lab, the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre, and the Yellowhead Indigenous Education Foundation. This session will include a brief backgrounder on the game, an explanation of the rules, and 2-3 test rounds by some of the participants followed by the solicitation of feedback on their experience, the mechanics of gameplay, and the learning experience resulting from playing the game.

About Sam

Sameer Singh is a social innovator and steward at the Edmonton Shift Lab. Previously, he has melded journalism and design thinking with public engagement at EndPovertyEdmonton, the Government of Alberta, and Strathcona County. He also has experience in fundraising at the University of Alberta and leading innovation initiatives at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. He has made documentary films about climate change in Canada and a male bellydancer traveling to Egypt. He holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Business, an MJ from Carleton University, and a BA from the University of Alberta.  He has volunteered for numerous community-building experiences in the Edmonton area. 

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