When “Molly of Denali,” PBS Kids’ new series, debuts on July 15, it will be the first to feature an Alaska Native lead character.
“We have an opportunity with this show, with ‘Molly of Denali,’ to inform and to show us in a positive and respectful light,” Princess Daazhraii Johnson, creative producer of the series who is a member of an Athabascan group, Neets’aii Gwich’in, told The Associated Press on Monday (July 8).
Here are three things you should know about this groundbreaking new show, which stars 10-year-old Molly, whose family owns the Denali Trading Post in the make-believe community of Qyah:
- Native Americans voice all of the series’ indigenous characters. Molly is played by 14-year-old Sovereign Bill of Auburn, Washington, who is a member of the Muckleshoot Indian tribe in Washington and the T’ak Dein Taan clan of the Tlingit tribe from the Alaskan community of Hoonah.
- Viewers get to see a slice of life outside of the show. Each episode features a short video of real Alaska Native children going about their days using their own languages.
- There is tons of extra content. Molly hosts her own podcast with her best friend Tooey, and PBS hosts an interactive learning website that includes activities, games and videos for children.
rntWatch The AP’s video of scenes from the series and reflections from the producers.