Cultural Consultants for Suriname, Metis Nation and Cherokee Nation!

MOON DRAKE Episodes 1-12 present stories for children that are impactful and diverse, passionate and purposeful. Subtle lessons like: You can make a difference. Your heart can heal. Sometimes you must let go.  Always believe in your dreams.  And many more.

Our production research team and our writers have done extensive research for these episodes. In addition, our cultural consultants help us retain authenticity of costumes, traditions and cultures, making our stories powerful and relevant. Today we want to highlight and thank three of these consultants from Season 1, covering the Indigenous people of North and South America:

Monique Wijngaarde-Bekema

Monique Wijngaarde-Bekema, Multi-racial Dutch and Surinamese, Suriname – Monique is the Founder and CEO of Growing Seeds Worldwide Foundation. Her diverse family has held a deep bond with Suriname, its culture and traditions, for generations. Her non-profit operates in the Netherlands with this purpose: preserving nature, preserving cultures – especially Indigenous cultures, bringing different backgrounds together, stimulating self-reliance and educating youth.

Monique was the cultural consultant for Episode 1.6 – Rakesh & the Rain Dancer (Paramaribo, Suriname, S. American) – “I recognized so many things from the story, the reference to specific family names that you didn’t even know. The use of actual language like the ‘watrasneki’ on the beach. I loved how you drew into the storyline the message my own Surinamese grandmother gave to me, in my search for myself. I loved the story – it just brings us all together.” – Monique Wijngaarde-Bekema

David Bouchard

David Bouchard, Metis Nation, Canada – David is a Metis author, educator and champion of Indigenous rights. He is an engaging storyteller with a passion for helping to shape a future of which all Canadians can be proud. He relates to both young and mature Canadians and understands that by acknowledging our past, we are better equipped to positively impact our future.

David was the cultural consultant for Episode 1.7 – Namid & Star Dancing, (Metis Nation, Vancouver B.C. Canada, N. American) – “Your story touches on several things that we believe deeply in. There is no better teacher than Mother Nature and our Elders. We also believe that there is no such thing as date. What some think of as fate is in truth, genetic direction. Our Grandmothers live in each of us. They direct us if only we are open to following their direction.” – David Bouchard

Delwin Elk Bear Fiddler, Jr.

Delwin Fiddler, Jr., Native American, United States Delwin is the Chief Executive Officer of PAZA Tree of Life a non-profit organization that works with and supports Indigenous people across the United States. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Sans Arc band, and a world renowned Native American performing Artist.  He was also a champion Grass and Hoop dancer on the pow-wow circuit.

Delwin was the cultural consultant for Episode 1.2 – Waya & Two Wolves, (Cherokee Nation, Appalachia, United States, N. American) – “I was proud to be able to contribute to the authenticity of this story and bring to life the depth of my Native people. The lesson is powerful for our children. It’s really awesome – beautiful.– Delwin Elk Bear Fiddler, Jr.

It is wonderful to see such dedication from everyone involved in this production. We thank our consultants who have given their experience and knowledge to this cause. Children who watch the Moon Drake series deserve the very best when it comes to content, characters, activities, programs and products. That is our absolute promise to the children of the world. With a broader understanding of our sisters and brothers everywhere, our children will realize our differences do not make us separate, but instead they make us uniquely and gloriously One.

We are SHOOTING FOR THE MOON!
Moon Drake Production Team

Episode 7 – Namid & Star Dancing by Jane L. Fitzpatrick

A 12-year-old girl is tragically left an orphan. In her sorrow, she is forced to move to another country and live with family members she has never met. But her journey through darkness, turns into a brilliant light when she learns she is Metis and begins to understand. Her Indigenous great-grandmother helps her become aware of her own power and strength. And she teaches her that everything along life’s way has meaning, and the talents and gifts given to her are to help her reconnect to her spiritual self.

Episode 1.7

Episode 11 – Andrea & the Carpayo Campaign by Martin Nuza

A young girl has an idea to help her city’s polluted beach issues and she decides against all the odds, to mobilize a campaign to save the beach and end the pollution by asking the city for help.

Episode 1.11

Eamon & the Last Forest

By Mark Rickerby – As the Moon Drake global journey continues, we are thrilled to bring you another episode script for the series. Mark Rickerby has completed episode 1.8 – “Eamon & the Last Forest.”

This time the story takes us to the European Continent and the country of Ireland. It is the tale of a 11-year-old lad addressing the conflict of deforestation and a family feud… and there may also be an enchanted forest! So, the question is, what would an Irish story be without leprechauns?

Mark has created a powerful episode that will delight children. It is a relatable topic, and kids will learn about that part of the world and the Indigenous wisdom it holds for each of us…

This story unfolds fun, conflict, resolution and a strong passion for family love. I am so thankful for Mark and his creativity and writing talents. Indeed, he has created a powerful addition to the first Moon Drake season.

With only three more scripts to complete for the 12-episode season, we are very proud of our writers, and we look forward to the next exciting steps. Thank you, all, for your good wishes and encouragement! Indeed, we are SHOOTING FOR THE MOON!

Episode 8 – Eamon & the Last Forest by Mark Rickerby

Episode 1.8

Eamon, an 11-year-old boy, is frightened by a forest on his family’s land until his grandfather shows him, he doesn’t need to be afraid. One day, he explores the forest himself and meets Cadhla, the neighbor’s 10-year-old granddaughter from the other side of the woods. The kids learn that their grandfathers have feuded for decades over the forest they both planted as children. But when one grandfather must prevent the other from cutting down and selling the trees, the men are finally forced to speak to each other again for the sake of their respective grandchildren, who have become friends with each other and the forest creatures. When all seems lost, the creatures of ancient folklore come to the rescue and help the children save the trees.

Chinua & Bayarmaa

By Martin Nuza – Moon Drake producers are humbled and grateful to present to you Episode 1.5 (Asian Continent). Once again, Martin has touched our hearts, our minds and our spirits through his newest creation, “Chinua & Bayarmaa.” It is a story set in a most intriguing and remarkable place, Mongolia.

Throughout the storyline there is cultural wisdom and an adversary to conquer – there’s illegal poaching and also love… But the greatest lesson in this tale is a battle within for this Mongolian huntress. It is the hardest choice of all, to let something go – something that must be free.

Personally, I absolutely loved the power of this story, the colorful culture and traditional beauty portrayed through the characters and their relationships – all presented in the backdrop of this mystical place. I believe children will fall in love with Chinua and her golden eagle!

Over the next few days, watch for Episode 1.8 by Mark Rickerby, and other episodes coming soon. We are working to bring this rich series to children and adults around the world, to spread the wisdom from the earth.

Episode 5 – Chinua & Bayarmaa by Martin Nuza

A young girl must try and save her village from a man’s illegal poaching activities, while, at the same time, trying to prepare her beloved golden eagle for the Eagle Festival in the Mongolian mountains.

Episode 1.5

Koen & the Wandjina

By Martin Nuza – I was so inspired to read Moon Drake’s newest episode 1.4, “Koen & the Wandjina,” by our magnificent writer, Martin Nuza. The story takes place in Tasmania, Australian Continent, where we follow the powerful experiences of Koen, a 14-year-old Aboriginal boy.

This story is a coming-of-age, spiritual tale that teaches and deals with the Human condition and conflict. It addresses Spirit, Mind, Body and how we respond to the challenges we face in life. It takes us to a place that is always with us, but we must open our eyes and heart to know it.

The Moon Drake series is for children ages 8-13. Each episode is rich with adventure and powerful Indigenous wisdom and story lines that take place all around the world, from every continent. Children experience and learn from ancient cultures and traditions as Moon Drake makes them relevant for today.

This is the fourth episode written by Martin. We can all look forward to seeing his stories, and all the wonderful stories of this series in animation! Watch for more coming very soon!

Episode 4 – Koen & the Wandjina by Martin Nuza

Episode 1.4

An indigenous boy, Koen, sets off with his father on a trip into the wilderness. They share many of their indigenous rituals and traditions until tragedy strikes and Koen must make a life changing decision, against tremendous odds in order to save his father. The Windjina will protect and guide them both, during their ordeal.

Rakesh & the Rain Dancer

By Jane L. Fitzpatrick – A few years ago, I met a beautiful sister, Monique Wijngaarde. I did not know her background until she wrote her powerful story for the Warrior Woman Spirit blog about her multi-racial family from Suriname and the Netherlands. Since then, I discovered I had relatives from the Netherlands, and some had traveled to Brazil and Suriname. Who would have thought our paths would cross in the way they have… with such meaningful and dynamic purpose. The Universe shows us things, and we are just in awe!

As we planned the episodes for Moon Drake, we decided to build a story around Suriname, South American Continent, in honor of this shared purpose. Today I finished the script “Rakesh & the Rain Dancer,” Episode 1.6 – that tells the story of a twelve-year-old boy who courageously reaches for his dream, which leads to a harrowing adventure of illegal gillnets, a dangerous experience and the judgment of others.

I sent the script to fellow producer and writer, Martin Manuel Nuza, and I was moved to tears by his words, because I respect him so deeply. This is what he said:

“Jane, it’s a great story full of hope and making right, especially at the end when Konrad confesses to his son that he shouldn’t have judged him and allowed him to follow his dream without judgement. The tension when the children race against all odds to save the stricken dolphin from the gillnet… the suspense of the capsized boat. The story has a powerful message – Follow your dreams and believe in what is right, regardless of the consequences that may follow by your actions. I loved it.”

All the Moon Drake stories address the relevant topics and issues (environmental, human, spiritual) we face in our current world and couple them with the answers through Indigenous cultural and traditional wisdom many have forgotten. We believe these action-packed stories will make sense to young hearts in a gentle and sensitive way. We believe children, and even adults, will learn something they truly long to hear.

I want to thank my sister Monique for her invaluable cultural advice on this episode, and my brother, Martin, for his continued inspiration as we work to write these stories and bring Moon Drake Anime Series to the world! Thank you, also, to our other two writers, Mark Rickerby and Jack Comeau! What a writing TEAM!!

WE ARE SHOOTING FOR THE MOON!!

Jane