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

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

Episode 6 – Rakesh & the Rain Dancer by Jane L. Fitzpatrick

Episode 1.6

Twelve-year-old Rakesh believes he can achieve his dream to be a scuba diver. His grandmother agrees to pay for his lessons and promises him a trip to Venezuela to scuba dive since Suriname’s waters are polluted and dangerous. At his birthday celebration, Rakesh encounters a “friendly” dolphin until he realizes the creature is actually in distress… So, with his scuba gear, inexperienced Rakesh, his irresponsible brother, Soraido, and his friend, Petronella, embark on a harrowing rescue mission. Through stormy winds, choppy waves and the dead of night, Rakesh realizes he can’t wait for the storm to pass. It is up to him to save the rain dancer and become the Ruler of the Full Moon.