Aboriginal stories told through animation
The Guardian Series shows how animation can share indigenous culture, language
When it comes to passing on indigenous stories, Doug Cuthand and Randy Morin say using stop-motion animation can tap into younger generations.
They stopped by the Saskatoon Public Library last week as part of Aboriginal Storytellers Month.
"I think the beauty of animation is you are really not limited by the physical world around you," said Cuthand, who is an independent film producer, writer and journalist.
"Younger people, they look to their imagination more. They are able to use their imagination and try to get, tell the stories through different ways."
Cuthand added that through animation, bringing in the special effects needed to tell many indigenous stories is much more affordable.
"I think animation does lend itself well to a lot of these traditional stories that may require special effects or special animals or creatures that talk, that kind of thing," he said.
[The kids] feel really proud to hear their language.- Randy Morin, Cree voice actor
Cuthand and Morin were involved in the Guardians Evolution series, a claymated series broadcast on APTN Kids. The show is in both Cree and English.
"[The kids] feel really proud to hear their language. A lot of them don't understand the language but with subtitles they can understand what's going on," Morin said.
"I think there needs to be more productions like this both in Cree and English, especially in Canada and with all the indigenous languages, because we are losing them really fast and it's a good way to retain them."
Morin provided many of the voices in the show, but he said they also scoured the province to find other Cree speakers. Some characters in the show are indigenous, but others are from Nordic countries and France.
"A lot of these people are coming from reserves who have never, ever acted and it was very hilarious to see them try to mimic the [different] dialects in Cree, like French Cree, so it's hilarious," he said with a laugh.
They added that television and animation is a global industry and there has been interest from broadcasters around the world in indigenous stories.
"The world is paying attention now," Cuthand said.