Nunavik man creates Nunami, an on-the-land board game for Northerners

Nunami, a new Inuit designed board game, was inspired by the Arctic environment and Inuit culture.

'It's not about taking over and being the champion,' says the creator of Nunami

Nunami, which means on the land in Inuktitut, is an upcoming two-player board game. (Submitted by Thomassie Mangiok)

Thomassie Mangiok says he's always loved board games and he felt it was about time there was one that was relevant to northerners.

So using a computer, 2D and 3D printers, some tape, a ruler, a pencil and a box of crackers, the Inuk man who lives in Ivujivik in northern Quebec, designed prototypes for Nunami. 

The two player board game's name means 'on the land' in Inuktitut and was inspired by the changing Arctic environment and Inuit culture.

Thomassie Mangiok, who lives in Ivujivik, designed the two-player board game inspired by the Arctic environment and Inuit culture. (Submitted by Thomassie Mangiok)

"I would like to use this game to promote environmental conservation and cohabitation and collaboration and being together," Mangiok explained.

"It's not about taking over and being the champion and being the only one. It's not about that."

Nunami has three main components — hexagonal-shaped bases which represent land regions, triangle-shaped cards with different properties, and game points.

There are two ways to win Nunami: having the right number of points, or having the majority of cards on a hexagonal base.

Players can take on the role of either a human or nature. And Mangiok said the aim of the game is not to take over the land regions, but to have more influence on them. 

"The fun thing about that is that you can't overpopulate either board because if you do, a bit like in life, you're going to run out of resources, so human needs nature and nature needs humans."

While the game is currently designed for two players, Magniuk said he hopes to expand it, including a set of cards with illustrations based on Inuit legends. 

And he said while the instructions are now in English, he would also like to have them translated into Inuktitut.

Want to know how to play Nunami? Watch this explainer to learn:

How to play Nunami

4 years ago
Duration 3:08
Nunami is a two player board game. One player takes the role of humans while the other plays as nature.

Magniuk is currently raising money for production of the game on Kickstarter. He said if he gets enough funding, he expects the game will be ready to ship by next year.

Over 160 people have pledged more than $7,000 toward the $70,000 goal. The campaign is set to end on August 7. 

With files from Qavavao Peter and Emily Blake