Inuit-designed board game Nunami hits the shelves

Nunami by Nunavik’s Thomassie Mangiok now available on Amazon and at Nunavik’s co-op stores

Thomassie Mangiok, the creator of the board game Nunami, plays the game with his daughter at home in Ivujivik. Nunami is now available on Amazon and at co-op stores in Nunavik. (Photo courtesy of Thomassie Mangiok)

By Jane George

A board game developed over the course of years from cut-up cereal boxes in Thomassie Mangiok’s Ivujivik home is now ready for worldwide distribution.

The artist and educator bills Nunami as the first Inuit board game. Nunami means “on the land” in Inuktitut.

Here’s a closer view of Nunami. (Photo courtesy of Thomassie Mangiok)

Players — from two to four — can take on the role of either human or nature. It’s a game of strategy, but the goal is not to control the land or beat your opponent, but learn how to live together.

“Each time you play, not only do you get a sense of exploring, but you also see what’s happening and you create a picture in your head,” said Mangiok.

Mangiok derived the game from a variety of inspiration–watching his aunt’s games of Chinese checkers, time spent on the land, even outer space.

“It’s similar to Star Trek as it’s about exploring, ” he said.

What it’s not like is chess: “in chess you have a much better chance to win if you start first, but in Nunami it doesn’t matter who starts first or second.”

The game sat in the back of Mangiok’s mind for years, but he said he didn’t dare tell anyone about it until he had worked out the basics.

Mangiok, a graduate in fine arts from Marie-Victorin CEGEP in Montreal, is now centre director and vice-principal at Ivujivik’s Nuvviti School.

A couple of years ago, he tried to raise money for his project with Kickstarter, an online crowd funder for creative projects.

But he didn’t hit his fundraising target, so he couldn’t draw the funds Nunami had raised from potential supporters.

Mangiok said in the end that turned out well, because it gave him more time to improve the game: “the board is much better, the cards are more secure, and I was able to make it for four players.”

Then, he went back to Kickstarter, but this time he had also received loans and grants from the Kativik Regional Government to manufacture the game.

Bringing Nunami to world turned out to be complex: he wanted to find a manufacturer in Canada, but ended up sourcing it to China. Now he’s selling it online through Amazon and in Nunavik’s co-op stores.

To sell Nunami he had to obtain a unique bar code, and and Amazon required him to supply photos of the game and himself to prove he and his creation were legitimate. But it was worth it.

“I am now so happy with it because it’s available on Amazon,” Mangiok said. “I never imagined that it would be at this stage.”

And the timing is good, he said, because board games are regaining popularity.

So far, 5,000 Nunami games have been made and 200 of these go as needed to Amazon warehouses.

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(47) Comments:

  1. Posted by K Thomas on

    How wonderful! I’m so glad this is available on Amazon – I think I know what we will be busy playing this winter season.

    • Posted by JT on

      Please avoid Amazon, Bezos has way too much money, order directly from their co-op!!
      Boycott Amazon!!!!!!

      • Posted by Gigi on

        Got a link for that co-op? And do they ship to the US??

      • Posted by susan james on

        Sometimes you have to go against your morals to support better ones, in this case the venue(Amazon) is needed for this mans brilliant invention (board game) to help him succeed. How many Inuit do you see on the world market being successful. Give the guy a break and respect him and support indigenous people entrepreneurs in business etc. An indigenous man like him can change the face of poverty and better his people in so many ways.

      • Posted by Susan Kloss on

        I totally agree … buy from the co-op

        • Posted by Judy on

          Where is a link for the co op ?

  2. Posted by CaptainAhab on

    Love the design. The components are austere and beautiful, the gameplay concept is unique, and the game has a one-of-a-kind North of 60 backstory.

    Gotta get your YouTube video posted to!

    Also your two YouTube videos need to slow down a bit at the beginning. Neither video takes the time to really explain what the cards are or how the scoring is done. Take a few minutes to go step-by-step through the first several rounds of a game, with detailed narration about what actions you are choosing and why. You need to show people the logic of what is happening so it clicks for them. At that point they might be more interested in ordering a copy!

  3. Posted by Luis Aldi on

    I’ve looked for it on but can’t find it. Help! I would like to get a few for my grandkids.

    • Posted by Nunavik on

      Search his last name: Mangiok and it will show up

      • Posted by Luis Aldi on

        Thanks! I ordered it.

      • Posted by Laura on

        I tried with the his name couldn’t find it.

      • Posted by Ange on

        Tried Nunami, thomassie mangiok, Nunami thomassie mangiok, mangiok
        None of these combinations work. Please help!

        • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

          I’m sending more to Amazon, the game sold out.

          Check again soon!

          • Posted by Lilja Carson on

            Dear Mr. Mangiok,
            I was not quick enough ordering from, and they are sold out, but said they were getting more in. But I will not order from them, with all the duty and fees. Will you be sending more to ?
            We lived in Churchill, Mb. Years ago. My husband was a doctor there. For years he travelled to many of the different places in NWT and Nunavut. I wanted to buy a copy for him ,and for my son, who was born when we lived in Churchill.
            Thank you for your attention , and I really hope to be able to buy 2 copies of your game
            Sincerely, Lilja Carson.

            • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

              Hello Lilja,

              Thank you for our interest, I’m happy to tell you that you’ll soon be able to order your copies through in a few days.

              I’m convinced that your husband and your son will be happy 😀

  4. Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

    K Thomas – We’re also planning to play Nunami and other game, it’s a pretty good game for social activities.

    CaptainAhab – We’ll make more videos and post them this holiday on YouTube and at BoardGameGeek, thank you for your suggestion.

    Nunatsiaq News – Thank you for sharing this news worthy information.

    • Posted by Maggie Day on

      I have searched for this game but can’t find it listed. I would love to purchase it even if I have to use Amazon.

      • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

        Hello Maggie,

        It will soon be available directly from a warehouse, check very soon. I’ll put a BUY link as soon as it’s ready.

  5. Posted by Shamus on

    Ordered today. Thank you for creating this and it’s been fun to watch the progress with your game over the past couple of years. We are a family of board gamers and can’t wait to try it. All the best and I hope the game is a huge success!

  6. Posted by Douglas Brunet on

    I just ordered one. I’m really intrigued by the design and concept. Although my grandson Aidan is a few years younger than the recommended age, this will make a great Christmas gift. And, it’ll give him something new and fun to do with grandpa. He’s very sharp, and already shows an interest in this game’s subject matter. Thank you, Thomassie, for bringing this to the world.

    • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

      You’re very welcome, I play with my daughter who’s 9. She had already started when she was 8.

      I’m convinced your grandson will have fun especially since the visual are fun.

  7. Posted by Jason Lutes on

    Hi Thomassie — Is there any way to order the game other than Amazon? I would prefer not to give them my money but will go that way if it’s the only option.

    • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

      Hello Jason.
      Amazon is currently the only way, it’ offers services that I need at this moment.

      I’m sending more to amazon, it sold out fairly quickly.

  8. Posted by Pandora Hobby on

    please list somewhere else here in Montreal that this can be purchased as amazon is not making this available

    • Posted by Douglas Brunet on

      I live here in Montreal. I ordered the game two days ago on Amazon, and it came today. Search using ‘Mangiok’, not ‘Nunami’. It’ll show up right away. It’s all I can do not to rip off the plastic to look inside. But, I’ll have to wait for Christmas when my grandson opens it.

    • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

      Nunami sold out at Amazon, but there’s more ok it’s way.

      Keep your eyes open and check again soon, thank you for your support. 🙂

  9. Posted by TJ Lips on

    Have tried every way of searching for this on without success.
    Does not recognize Nunami or Mangiok. Very puzzling.

    • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

      Nunami sold out at Amazon, but there’s more ok it’s way.

      Keep your eyes open and check again soon, thank you for your support. 🙂

  10. Posted by Gamer on

    Looks like a fun game! Would like to see this available other than amazon too. Ebay maybe?

    • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

      I don’t think eBay has storing facilities, I need a company that will store and ship.

      • Posted by M on

        Have you considered They do a lot of business and sell all kinds of items. They are a healthier version of amazon in some respects. good luck and I hope I get to play it.

        • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

          Hello M, I’m actually planning to sell directly from the warehouse to the public by using shopify’s service. Check soon 🙂

  11. Posted by Penelope Fletcher on

    The game sounds great – I hope that there are alternatives to Amazon soon too !

    • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

      I have finally build enough confidence to sell through shopify’s service, check in a few days.

  12. Posted by Karyn Elllis on

    Congratulations on the game! Looks fun and I’d love to order it as a holiday gift for friends of mine. Is it possible to add my email to a waiting list so that you can notify us when it’s available again?

    • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

      Hello Karyn, it should be available in a few days directly from a warehouse. Check very soon.

  13. Posted by Red on

    I can’t wait to get this game. I searched Amazon, but found nothing. After reading through the comments, I see that you are in the process of shipping more to Amazon. I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to purchase such a unique game!

    • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

      Hello Red, thank you.

      I’ll soon sell directly from the warehouse, check in a few days for the link.

  14. Posted by Wendy Steffensen on

    I also request a non- Amazon purchase option! Would love to buy direct. That being said, I looked it up on Amazon, and no dice…

    • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

      It’ll soon be available through, I’ll put a link as soon as I’m done setting it up.

      Thank you for your interest.

  15. Posted by Alan on

    Hi: I read about your game and I was interested in buying it. I went to Amazon (US app). When I typed in Nunami, it popped up with the correct-seeming go-tos, but following all of them took me to other games. Will Amazon in the US have any more available, or can you please share an email for the co-op? Thank you.

    • Posted by Thomassie Mangiok on

      Hello Alan, thank you for your interest, I’ll soon put a link at point to where you can buy your copy.

      Have a nice day

  16. Posted by Beatrice on

    I think it’s amazing, the whole idea of learning to live together instead of beating one another. Can’t wait to get one myself. I will keep checking the website you mentioned in previous comments.
    Good luck and congratulations!

  17. Posted by Jennifer on

    Can’t find it on Amazon either.

  18. Posted by Emily on

    Looking forward to trying this game out! It looks like fun. Hoping it’ll be available to buy direct from soon!

  19. Posted by Charlotte Gullick on

    Hello! I’d love to get this game for my Inuit friends living in Cambridge, MA – I have looked on Amazon and on your website as well. How might I be able to get it? Thank you!

  20. Posted by Adam on

    This looks interesting. I’d like to buy it in the most supportive way possible, which I’m assuming is via Looking forward to being able to do so from the USA.

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