Native Village 
Youth and Education News

December 1, 2013

"A Cheyenne Odyssey" Gives Middle School Students a Plains Indian Perspective
Condensed by Native Village

"A Cheyenne Odyssey," the third interactive game in the Mission US series, supports the study of westward expansion in the middle grade American history curriculum. Players take on the role of Little Fox, a 12-year-old Northern Cheyenne boy in the 1860s.

“‘A Cheyenne Odyssey' is the first game to present the Northern Cheyenne perspective on real events our people experienced,” said Dr. Richard Littlebear. “However, this is much more than a game about the high and low points of our history. It teaches students how to make decisions and how to live with the consequences of those decisions, just as one has to do in real life.”

Littlebear is the President of Chief Dull Knife College and project advisor.

Players "living the life" of Little Fox experience sweeping changes and challenges. They must choose how to deal with encroaching settlers, expanding railroads, declining buffalo herds, and the reservation system.

Eventually Little Fox, now a grown warrior, fights in the Battle of the Greasy Grass, known to non-Indians as the Battle of the Little Bighorn or Custer's Last Stand. 

Players of "A Cheyenne Odyssey" learn about westward expansion and how it affected native people, the economy, the landscape and environment. They interact with traders, railroad workers, soldiers and settlers and others moving west.  With each change and choice, players learn about the persistence and transformation of the Cheyenne people.

The game includes embedded "smartwords" to build vocabulary and support learners' growing historical literacy. Activities and supplemental resources help deepen students' understanding and perspectives.

"A Cheyenne Odyssey" is available to play for free online or to download.

Content for "A Cheyenne Odyssey" was a collaboration between
Historians and Educators
American Social History Project/Center for Media & Learning
City University of New York

Representatives of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe
 Chief Dull Knife College
Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Montana

Dr. Littlebear and his colleagues consulted on educational content, scripting, design, and casting for the game.
All voices for Northern Cheyenne characters are by Northern Cheyenne actors.
Advisory support came from Jeffrey Ostler, Professor (University of Oregon), and Christina Gish Hill, Assistant Professor (Iowa State University) and author of Dull Knife Had a Family

Mission US  is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Mission US addresses the pressing instructional need to engage middle grade students in the exploration, discovery, and understanding of US history. The goal is to encourage students to care about history by assuming the roles of peers from the past.

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