Gloria O'Neill - Storytelling for the Next Generation: Harnessing the Power of Video Games to Share and Celebrate Cultures

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Thursday, October 22, 2015 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Salomon Center, Room 001

Gloria O'Neill

Presented by Gloria O’Neill, President and CEO, Cook Inlet Tribal Council
Learn how a tribal nonprofit organization in Anchorage Alaska and its partners created a new precedent for sustainability and self-determination. As told through the lens of the Inupiat people of Arctic Alaska, the global launch of the puzzle-platformer “Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa)” established a new genre of video games within the industry dubbed World Games, and through an inclusive development process with the Alaska Native people, set a fresh standard for indigenous storytelling for future generations. Sponsored by the Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

Ms. O’Neill is president and chief executive officer of Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), a tribal nonprofit organization in Anchorage providing social, educational, employment, and recovery services for Native people in southcentral Alaska. Of Yup’ik and Irish descent, Ms. O’Neill has worked to expand the organization’s impact as CEO since 1998. Her boldest move yet was establishing a for-profit digital gaming subsidiary to generate additional revenue for CITC programming. Launched worldwide in November 2014, Never Alone features an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion, and has earned worldwide accolades for its aesthetic value and celebration of the folklore of an indigenous people. CITC’s game initiative is a tool for the organization to control its own destiny and reduce dependency on non-sustainable funding streams by returning revenues to the organization’s programs and services.