Civilization video game paints an 'inaccurate and dangerous' picture of Poundmaker Cree Nation chief

A video game is shining a spotlight on an Indigenous leader from the 19th century — but members of the Poundmaker Cree Nation in Saskatchewan aren't sure the makers are playing fair.

"When I first saw the video game… I thought that's pretty cool, Poundmaker is in a game," Milton Tootoosis, headman with the Poundmaker Cree Nation tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

"But when I looked further into the matter it raised some questions."

In the Civilization series of games, players take on the identities of famous historical leaders like Chief Poundmaker, growing their nations from small city states into vast empires. By playing politics, and engaging in trade, science and warfare, the aim is to best your opponents and conquer the world.

That imperialist agenda alone is enough to give Tootoosis pause for thought.

"[This game] continues to promote some of these ideologies that are connected to concepts of colonialism and imperialism and that doctrine of discovery," he says, "which are totally contrary to the beliefs and values of Chief Poundmaker, and many other Indigenous leaders around the world for that matter."

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