Contributor Biographies


GWEN BENAWAY is of Anishinaabe and Métis descent.  Her first collection of poetry, Ceremonies for the Dead, was published in 2013 and her second collection of poetry, Passage, was published by Kegedonce Press in Fall 2016. As emerging Two-Spirited Trans poet, she has been described as the spiritual love child of Tomson Highway and Anne Sexton. In 2015, she was the recipient of the inaugural Speaker's Award for a Young Author and in 2016 she received a Dayne Ogilvie Honour of Distinction for Emerging Queer Authors from the Writer's Trust of Canada. Her work has been published and anthologized internationally. She and her many vintage dresses can be found on Instagram gwenbenaway


MICHELLE LEE BROWN is a doctoral student in the subfields of Indigenous Politics and Futures within the Political Science Department at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.  Her areas of focus are indigenous video games and oceanic mobility.  Euskaldun, her ancestral land/waters region is Lapurdi, the Bidart/Plage D'Erretegia area.  Currently in Hawai'i nei, she strives to uphold her relational commitments to 'ohana and the 'āina that supports them.


JEANETTE BUSHNELL, is a semi-retired Anishinaabe university professor who has played games for nearly six decades. Her gaming interests have followed the technology trajectory beginning in the 1950's with card games, board games, role-playing, puzzles, neighborhood games such as Kick The Can, and pick-up ball games.  Video gaming moved through Pong, Asteroids, Tetris, Zelda, Mario, Carmen Sandiego, Prince of Persia, and Gizmos. She entered the MMORPG world when WoW came out of beta to spend time with her children who are gamers.  By the time first person shooters on contemporary consoles made it big, her physical response times had aged beyond competitive play ability. Since her PhD years, game playing for entertainment has diminished while it has increased as an academic interest.


STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES is the author of sixteen novels and six story collections. Most recent are Mapping the Interior, from and the comic book My Hero, from Hex Publishers, and Stephen lives and teaches in Boulder, Colorado.


DAVID DENNISON LACHO is a Unity 3D AR Developer. He has a research background that looks at understanding the relationships that people have towards technology, including software, hardware, and social media. His research focus is on using emerging technology for learning and promoting minority/endangered languages within communities.


AARON LEON grew up in Armstrong/ Enderby, in rural British Columbia and is a proud member of the Splatsin Band. Leon graduated from Concordia University in 2013 with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, major in photography. Leon focuses on two separate trains of thought in his work: the first is exploring his identity and Splatsin First Nations background, and the second involves explorations of perception and colour. 


ELIZABETH LAPENSEE, Ph.D. is an award-winning writer, designer, and artist of games, comics, transmedia, and animation. She is Anishinaabe, Métis, and Irish, living near the Great Lakes as an Assistant Professor of Media & Information and Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University.

Most recently, she designed and created art for Manoominike (2016), a motion game about practices of wild ricing, as well as Honour Water (2016), an Anishinaabe singing game for healing the water. She designed and programmed Invaders (2015), a remix of the arcade classic Space Invaders. She also designed The Gift of Food (2014), a board game about Northwest Native traditional foods. She is currently working on Thunderbird Strike, a side-scrolling lightning-searing attack on oil operations.

Early on, she was a Research Assistant for Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace and continues to contribute as a Research Affiliate in the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. Her dissertation in Interactive Arts and Technology from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia shares experiences from the Indigenous social impact game Survivance (2011). Soon after, she was a Postdoctoral Associate for the University of Minnesota's Research for Indigenous Community Health Center. Her ongoing work was recognized with the Serious Games Community Leadership Award (2017).


KATHERINE MELOCHE is a settler from eastern Canada who is now a guest in Treaty 6 Territory in Edmonton Alberta. She is a PhD Candidate in English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Her dissertation is on Indigenous crime fiction in Canada focusing on the intersections between Indigenous legal structures, storytelling, and genre fiction.


TYLOR PRATHER has a BA in American Indian Studies from the University of Washington. He writes: "First and foremost, I am a geek, I have gamed on consoles that are older than me and have played D&D since I was 6. My geek family spans generations from trading card enthusiasts, to tabletop, miniature wargaming, to playing on consoles and PCs. I am interested in all things that surround gaming, from play and creating worlds from nothing but imagination with some pens and paper, to constructing both arms and armor. Second, after discovering the joy of research, I have also become an academic. It is with this joy that I have developed an eye to critically analyze games and gamification. In addition, I have worked in Minority outreach under the Banner of M.E.S.A (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) at the University of Washington as program assistant for 6 years and 3 years before that as a math tutor. My work in outreach brought me to the conclusion that creativity especially in STEM cannot be given room to grow if it is not explored. In that exposure of the sciences and the activities that go beyond textbook reading reveal to students an interest that may have never been explored without that initial exposure."


JONATHAN TOMHAVE is a lecturer in American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. While his work has focused on issues of identity, power relationships and acts of performative resistance by Indigenous actors in both mainstream and alternative productions, he has always held a deep, passionate interest in games. It is this passion that has led him to my current work, both in game development and gamification of communication practices.




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