2022 Indigenous Communities Fellowship


Reclaim! A game that unites Ojibwe language, land and beings

A video game in the Ojibwe language to support Indigenous learners

Team Lead

Mary Hermes

Solution Pitch

The Problem

A nearly universal problem for learners of the Ojibwe language is a lack of opportunities to practice what they have learned and reinforce their knowledge by having actual interactions in the language with speakers and other learners. This applies to language learners with many varied backgrounds, including young people who have recently completed Ojibwe language immersion education, adults who have taken formal classes in a university setting or who have participated in adult immersion programs, and people who are geographically removed from Ojibwe communities and therefore rely mainly on online and print resources. Playing digital games in classrooms can offer immersive interaction, butmany misrepresent Indigenous people and appropriate cultures. Representations frequently fall back on stereotypes without involving Indigenous communities in the design process. 

The Solution

The Reclaim! solution supports the growth of the Indigenous language and land reclamation through community-based design of a point and click video game. Learners of Ojibwe are often confined to immersion schools and ceremonies, a video game that spans virtually any distance will reach many more learners. An e-learning software is being developed with the language content of the game, in hopes to spread use from schools into homes. The game, when used as a model of learning and reclamation, may encourage indigenous learners in any language to use the assets and replicate the game in their languages.


  • There are currently 7,000 users who have registered and made accounts in the Ojibwe 7000 software.

Market Opportunity

Reclaim! is geared towards youth through adult Ojibwe language learners. There are 3,000,000 Ojibwe people and many other Indigenous people may be inspired by it. Many non-Indigenous allies may also hear about this, play the game and be inspired.

Organization Highlights

  • Transparent Languages: Language software company, which will support the language used in the game.

  • Ojibwemotaadidaa Omaa Gidakiiminang (OOG): Adult immersion learning academy.

  • Waadookodaading Ojibwe Immersion School: alumni and families involved in development, voice actors will likely come from the school. Also a major play testing site.

  • Seven Generations, Canada: Elders from the organization are interested in seeing the game development. 

  • University of Minnesota: Part of Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia (GIM) will be housed at UMN, as part of an umbrella group under the Indigenous Language Materials Center.

Partnership Goals

Reclaim! seeks:

  • Expertise on mobile or web app development

Organization Type: Nonprofit

Headquarters: Hayward, WI

Stage: Prototype

Working In: Minnesota, United States

Current Employees: 6

Solution Website: GIM-ojibwe.org

Solution Team:

  • Dr. Mary Hermes Director GIM/ Professor UMN, Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia

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