We worked with licensed speech and language pathologists to help children learn to articulate and speak clearly by creating playful voice-controlled apps that help make this type of learning fun!
—Vanessa Loewen, executive producer
It's a world where kids interact with talking stuffed animals, control the direction of a story with an app and learn the Cree language at the same time. It's Tiga Talk!
Now in its fourth season, the children's television series Tiga Talks! airs on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) in both Cree and English.
The unique series was developed by an early childhood educator, a speech pathologist and award-winning televisions producers.
It's more than just a TV show. Tiga Talk! includes an interactive website on which viewers will help choose a pet's name and a new app called "Adventure Story" that allows children to control events. The app is modeled after "choose your own adventure" interactive stories.
SCENE talks! with executive producer Vanessa Loewen:
In a nutshell can you describe the project?
Tiga Talk! has fun exploring languages & culture.
Tiga the wolf pup stays with his friends, Jodie and Jason, and their father and grandmother, Kokum. He lives in his own little den the children made for him in the corner of the backyard. Jodie and Jason and Tiga have a secret - one they share with the children in the audience. When no adults are around Tiga comes alive as a talking puppet and can interact with Jodie and Jason, and with the children in the audience. But every time Kokum (or another adult) is around Tiga assumes the role of stuffed plush toy.
Who is it aimed at?
Preschool children aged 2- 5 years old.
How do you make learning fun?
Talking toys are always fun!
In addition to the series and activities featured on the tigatalk.com website, we worked with licensed speech and language pathologists to help children learn to articulate and speak clearly by creating playful voice-controlled apps that help make this type of learning fun!
Why was it important to mix Cree and English languages in the program?
Language is an important key to any culture and we work to pass this knowledge on to future generations whenever possible.
Who's your favourite animal character, Tiga, Gavin or Gertie and why?
Gertie, because she's a little diva!
What's been the most rewarding moment or experience for you personally?
We shoot the show in Victoria and so for me the most special time is when I can visit the set and see everyone in action having fun and creating great, meaningful programming.
The website contains real-life documentaries on Aboriginal culture. Can you describe the idea behind it and what viewers will get out of it?
These short online clips are a great, accessible way to share cultural information with very young children who are always on the go!
The Cree version of Tiga Talk! airs Friday mornings at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. on HD) and the English version airs Saturday mornings at 9:30 a.m. (8:30 on HD).