PBS: 'Molly of Denali,' about an Athabascan girl in Alaska, premieres on PBS Kids

'Molly of Denali' shares Alaska Native culture with a young audience

A new children's show based on Alaska Native culture debuts on PBS Kids on July 15.

Molly of Denali revolves around the life of 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Athabascan girl, her dog Suki and her friends Tooey and Trini. The show is the first nationally distributed children’s series in the U.S. to feature an Alaska Native lead character.

Molly of Denali showcases values paramount to all Alaskan Native cultures,” Princess Daazhraii Johnson, who is Neets'aii Gwich'in and serves as creative producer for the show, said in a press release. “These values will be woven into each storyline and provide important learning moments. I’m especially excited that Alaska Native children will get to see themselves in Molly, who’s such an inspiring role model for all kids.”

“The project’s Alaska Native advisors worked hard to ensure that our children will get to see our beautiful cultures in a respectful light,” Johnson said of a team that includes Adeline Peter Raboff, Dewey Kk’ołeyo Hoffman, Luke Titus and Rochelle Adams (Alaska Native orking group); Adeline Peter Raboff, Lance X’unei Twitchell, Lorraine David and Marie Meade (Language advisors); and Nell Duke (informational text advisor).

Molly is voiced by 14-year-old Sovereign Bill, who is a citizen of the Muckleshoot Tribe and belongs to the T'ak Dein Taan clan of the Tlingit Tribe, The Associated Press reported. Other cast members are Native.

"It's able to pass on that message through a kind and loving and kid-friendly way," Bill told the AP of the series. "But it's still teaching and it's still giving those important values."

Each show features two 11-minute animated stories, plus live-action and other content. In total, 38 episodes will be aired, along with a one-hour special, according to PBS.

Read More on the Story
Molly comes home: Animated television show on PBS Kids has strong Alaska Native roots (First Alaskans Magazine July 8, 2019)
First US children's series with Alaska Native lead kicks off (The Associated Press July 8, 2019)

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