Dismantling Board Game project

The Coalition to Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery is working to develop a board game to introduce players to some of the core concepts of the Doctrine of Discovery.  We are imagining a game that would be fun, engaging, and give players an experiential way to problematize ideas, such as whether land that is not being farmed is being “used” and the extractive ways in which dominant society (and many board games) view land.

Why A Board Game?

Games are an experiential group learning tool; a fun and easy way to enter into the complexity of important and difficult concepts.  Players have opportunities to think from the point of view of an individual, and of a whole community.  Games offer a way to navigate and experience, not just read about, complex historical situations; and understand various relationships and interests within that system, by navigating them first-hand.  Together the players create a shared memory, a shared story, and a reference point for conversation that can move beyond the game.

We hope to create a game that has a fun and satisfying level of complexity that will will appeal to existing board gamers, with the hope that many “non-gamer” Mennonites will likely also buy the game. We believe that if this is a truly fun game that is educational, it will take on a life of its own.

What this money will pay for

This initial $10,000 in seed money will fund initial development by our partner and then when the game is ready for production, Kickstarter would fund manufacturing costs with each backer getting a copy of the game. Long term, the game would enter the catalog of Tesa Collective and a portion of the sales would go to DDOD.

So far we have raised $4,500 and we have $5,500 left to raise. Can you help us reach this goal?

Our track record working with creative approaches to education

As a Coalition we have a five-year track record of using the arts, graphic design, and film to communicate our message. In 2015 we released a 45 minute documentary introducing the Doctrine of Discovery. The documentary has since been viewed on Youtube nearly 50,000 times with a reach far beyond that number, because many of those showings to an audience of more than one person. We also produced museum-quality panels on the 500 year history of the Doctrine of Discovery. Three of these panels have traveled to hundreds of venues and been viewed by thousands of people. We have also created study guides that have been widely used within the Mennonite Church. One of our founders, indigenous leader Sarah Augustine, has also traveled extensively on speaking tours across this continent.

In 2016 the Coalition supported Alison Casella Brookins in writing and Ted & Company Theaterworks in producing We Own This Now, a full-length play that looks at love of land, loss of land, and what it means to “own” something. Diving into historical documents, absurd situations, and extended metaphors, the audience discovers alongside the characters how the Doctrine of Discovery is still being used and causing harm today. We Own This Now has been continually revised and strengthened, responding to feedback from both Indigenous and settler audiences. It has been performed over 35 times in two countries, seen by over 10,000 people, and had a full year of shows booked for 2020 pre-COVID. This play is an exceptional example of how artistic works can take important concepts from the head to the heart, and effect change in individuals and society.

How to Donate

Please click the button below to give through our fiscal sponsor, Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference. In the special instructions section, pleased write “for the board game project”

Donate Button

Note: Although Paypal does not name Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition as a recipient in the donate process, all money given through this button (minus Paypal fees) will support our work.

Donations by check should be sent to:

Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference
P.O. Box 39038
Phoenix, AZ 85069

Please mark “DDOD board game project” in the memo line.

Thank you!