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Open Teacher Letter – When Rivers Were Trails

November 17, 2020 Leave a comment

I received this email the other day asking about using When Rivers Were Trails in a 7th grade Social Studies Class in Minnesota. The game is available for free and runs on Windows and Mac. As the developers note on the itch.io page, https://indianlandtenure.itch.io/when-rivers-were-trails, “When Rivers Were Trails is a 2D point-and-click adventure game in which Oregon Trail meets Where the Water Tastes Like Wine. An Anishinaabeg in the 1890’s is displaced from their traditional territory in Minnesota and heads west to California due to the impact of allotment acts on Indigenous communities, facing Indian Agents, meeting people from different nations, and hunting, fishing, and canoeing along the way as they balance their wellbeing.” It is a terrific game for students studying US and Native American history and present at any grade level including college. The basic lesson guidelines will work for any age/grade level; just adjust the historical research part with appropriate readings. Here is my response to the letter, with a bit of editing and expansion. For more information, see my earlier post on this game

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