The Poundmaker Cree Nation is calling attention to concerns of several inaccuracies and a lack of consultation about a representation of Chief Poundmaker in the upcoming video game “Civilization VI- Rise and Fall.” Chief Poundmaker was a Cree Leader in the late 19th century who was known for diplomatic strategies and peacemaking with settlers and the early Canadian government.
Civilization’s main goal is to develop a society through means of trade, industrial building and by engaging in warfare and conquering. The end goal of the game is to have all of the territory in the in-game world under the player’s control.
Headman of the Poundmaker Cree Nation Milton Tootoosis says when he initially found out Chief Poundmaker was going to be represented in the game he was intrigued, but found he had major concerns after investigating further into the game.
“The key challenges when you review the trailer and the games from civlization.com, it’s all about conquering; it’s about taking over. I saw in another trailer on civilization.com people using nuclear bombs and nuclear warfare. I know it’s just a game but we don’t want our cultural icon like Poundmaker, we don’t appreciate him being aligned with values that are linked to colonialism, imperialism, manifest destiny and genocide.”
Tootoosis says that 2K Games, the developer that makes the Civilization game, should have reached out to the Poundmaker Cree Nation before including the historical chief.
“What they should have done is approach the leadership, the chief and council. We then would have approached our elders, primarily as the traditional knowledge-keepers, and had a dialogue. I think we would have asked for a script, a manuscript if you will, of the game – the whole game – and figure out how is he going to fit into this? Upon learning more about the script our community and elders would have made a decision or made recommendations for changes.”
Tootoosis adds that the respectful way for 2K Games to open the dialogue with the Poundmaker Cree Nation would have been face to face. He says they have reached out to 2K to find a resolution that is good for both parties.
The Goat has reached out to 2K Games for comment.
The Civilization trailer featuring Chief Poundmaker, 2k Games.