By Don Norman
A new animated children’s television series, called “Wolf Joe” premiered earlier this month on TVOkids. The series follows Joe and his three friends as they become heroes like the ones in his grandpa’s stories turning everyday experiences into awesome adventure. The show is inspired by the universal values of The Seven Teachings Wheel to explore his Indigenous culture, heritage and identity.
“The Turtle Lodge takes great pride in being a founding partner and collaborator for Wolf Joe,” stated the Turtle Lodge in their press release about the show.
The show was created by Alexander Bar with Cultural Consultant, Elder Dr. Dave Courchene, Wolf Joe is a collaborative partnership between the Turtle Lodge, Media Rendezvous and Amberwood Entertainment.
“My participation was to share what I believe is the foundation of our identity as the First Peoples of our homeland that we call Turtle Island,” said Elder Dave Courchene. “We held a ceremony at the Turtle Lodge to begin the process of sharing our Seven Sacred Teachings in the Wolf Joe series, to ensure the Spirit would guide us.”
Courchene points out that the animals associated with these teachings are included to remind us that Nature teaches us many things. “We are to treat the Animal World with respect for all it brings to our lives. Not only do the animals bring teachings, they also work hard to keep the balance on the land,” he said. “In the order of Creation, we were the last to arrive, as Human Beings. The Animal World preceded us, so that they could greet us and bring us the teachings that we should live by. We cannot survive without the Animal World.”
Courchene said that the Seven Sacred Teachings are about being a good Human Being. “When we live the spirit of these teachings, we can take care of each other, showing kindness, being friendly, generous and considerate of all life. All these teachings are good for your heart.”
“My hope with the series of Wolf Joe is that children will receive an understanding of a belief system of the Indigenous People,” said Courchene.
TVOKids premiered the show on January 10, 2021 (Sunday) at 7:05 am EST (6:05 am CST) with repeats Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:10 am EST (10:10 am CST) and it was launched on the Knowledge Network January 11, 2021at 11:45 am EST (10:45 am CST).The show has also been licensed to SBS Australia, a major network group that emphasizes Indigenous culture.