Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) is proud to announce that the Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) video game is a 2022 recipient of a Peabody Digital and Interactive Storytelling Award.
The Never Alone game was launched in November 2014. CITC produced the game alongside gaming company E-Line Media. The video game honors Alaska Native storytelling and is based on a traditional Inupiaq story (Kunuuksaayuka) about a young person who fights a great blizzard that threatens the community’s survival.
Never Alone was groundbreaking because of its inclusive development process. The game was made with Alaska’s Inupiaq community—elders, writers, and storytellers. CITC chose to invest in the video gaming space and partner with E-Line Media because Never Alone is interactive, empowering, and creates a transformative learning experience for players. The result was a global success and an award-winning game with proven commercial, educational, and social impact.
“We are inspired by Never Alone’s Peabody Award. Making this game took courage, trust, and leadership from CITC’s Board of Directors,” said CITC President and CEO Gloria O’Neill. “It’s a story by Alaska Native people, and a game made with Alaska Native elders, storytellers, and community members. Never Alone was made from the heart, and we’re pleased to see it inspire worldwide audiences. Never Alone is about community and culture. It is about facing adversity together. It sends a message that through our culture and our relationships, we truly are never alone.”
The Peabody Awards honor excellence in storytelling that reflects the social issues and emerging voices of our day. Never Alone’s Peabody Award marks an expansion into recognizing Interactive storytelling and is part of a legacy class of winners. “The works in this new category are fundamentally changing how we engage with storytelling, and therein changing us,” said Diana Williams, chairwoman of the new Peabody Interactive Board. “It’s imperative that we recognize the projects that have catalyzed and revolutionized how media is seen, understood, engaged with, and disseminated. We hope that honoring these legacy winners will continue to push forward our mission of supporting ambitious, groundbreaking creators who strive to make projects with stories that are not only entertaining but can also perhaps prompt visible, societal shifts.”
CITC’s mission is to connect Alaska Native people to their endless potential. Investing in gaming allowed CITC to connect with youth through an interactive experience that is educational and enriching. CITC saw an opportunity to add diverse voices to this space and reveal a world not yet seen before in video games—a culturally-informed game, rooted in Alaska Native culture, folklore, and storytelling.
For more information, please reach out to CITC Public Relations Specialist, Lexi Trainer at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 907-306-1556.
Never Alone Fact Sheet
Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) is the first game developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people. Nearly 40 Alaska Native elders, storytellers and community members contributed to the development of the game.
Upper One Games was originally established in 2012 by CITC Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), a for-profit subsidiary of Cook Inlet Tribal Council and was the first indigenous- owned commercial game company in the United States.
Never Alone was co-designed WITH Alaska Native elders, storytellers, artists, writers, and cultural ambassadors. We made sure Our People had voice every step of the way to ensure an authentic game true to our culture and Our People.
Revenue from Never Alone helps fund CITC’s programs that support Alaska Native people. In this way, Never Alone has a community-based purpose. CITC serves more than 13,000 people per year with diverse services ranging from addiction and recovery, to workforce development, family support, and justice services.
Never Alone success:
- Featured in over 1500 publications
- Downloaded an estimated 10 million times
- Available on 15 stores/e-shops, launched on Switch in early-2022
- Selected for nearly 100 “Best of Year” Game Lists
- Won 2015 BAFTA (British Academy Award) and Game of the Year at Games for Change.
- Featured in numerous museums exhibits.
- Recipient of a 2022 Peabody Digital and Interactive Storytelling Award
Never Alone timeline:
October 2014: Demo unveiled at Elders & Youth Conference in Anchorage
November 2014: Launched Worldwide
July 2015: Foxtales Expansion becomes available
2016: Launched on Mobile Platforms