Honour Water is a singing game for healing water available for free on iPads that passes on songs in Anishinaabemowin, the Anishinaabe language. Songs are gifted by Sharon Day, the Oshkii Giizhik Singers, and elders who collaborated at the Oshkii Giizhik Gathering. Water teachings are interwoven with singing challenges alongside art by Elizabeth LaPensée.
How to play: The game is designed for iPads. You can download it for free from the App store. Find a quiet place where you feel comfortable singing – or take the game on a walk to your nearest body of water!
Specially for Now Play This 2021, Elizabeth LaPensée presents an interview with Sharon Day.
Designer, Artist, Writer
Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D. expresses herself through writing, design, and art in games, comics, and animation. She is Anishinaabe, Métis, and Irish, living in Minnesota. She designed and programmed Invaders (2015), a remix of the arcade classic Space Invaders inspired by art from Steven Paul Judd. She also designed The Gift of Food (2014), a board game for the Northwest Indian College about Northwest Native traditional foods. As shown with the social impact game Survivance (2011) which she designed, she believes games can be pathways to healing and self-determination.
Singers and Song Writers
Oshkii Giizhik Singers is a group of Anishinaabe women who have been singing together for about 10 years. They have sung at St. Scholastica’s Native Music Festival, New Native Theater, and many Minnesota-area events. Their 2009 CD won a Nammy for “Best Traditional Recording” and they sung at the 2010 Nammy’s. They will make new hand drums and also learn how to teach the making of hand drums so that they can pass on these teachings at a public event for all Indigenous women.
Sharon M. Day, Ojibwe is enrolled in the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe. She is one of the founder’s of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force. Day has received numerous awards, including the Resourceful Woman Award, the Gisela Knopka Award, BIHA’s Women of Color Award, The National Native American AIDS Prevention Resource Center’s Red Ribbon Award, and most recently, the Alston Bannerman Sabbatical Award. She as been named as one of the 100 best loved women by Yes! Magazine. She is an editor of the anthology, Sing! Whisper! Shout! Pray! Feminist Visions for a Just World (2000). She is an artist, musician, and writer.
The game is developed by Pinnguaq, a Nunavut and British Columbia based corporation that makes apps and games while advocating for technology across the Indigenous world. Pinnguaq was created in 2012 with the goal of providing play experiences in Indigenous languages. Since then, the organization has begun to embrace ways of incorporating play and gaming into wide reaching applications that can benefit tourism, education and economic development. At the root of their mission statement is the embracing of technology as a means of unifying and enabling both Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures.