Survivance (www.survivance.org) is an Indigenous social impact game that honors storytelling and art as self-determined pathways to healing from historical trauma caused by colonization in Turtle Island (North America). Players listen to storytellers and quest through life in a non-linear journey of creating and returning to teachings in a process of healing.
Designer - Elizabeth LaPensee
Storytellers - Woodrow Morrison Jr., Roger Fernandes, Elaine Grinnell
Survivance is inspired by Anishinaabe scholar and writer Gerald Vizenor's term that combines survivance with endurance. Racism, discrimination, and unresolved grief from the loss of land, lives, and traditions continues to cause emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual imbalances for indigenous people. In response to these issues, the non-profit organization Wisdom of the Elders, which is based out of Portland, Oregon, in Turtle Island (North America), developed the multimedia health and wellness project Discovering Our Story. Survivance in its game iteration shows that intergenerational exchanges of traditions, stories, and art practices are pathways to wellbeing that influence the player’s sense of self, community, and the greater world, while also fostering a reciprocal relationship with the act of creating.