By Woodard, Dale on October 23, 2020.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Blood Tribe has released a “Sesame-Street”-style video to youth stressing safety and proper procedures during a trying time.
And there will be more before the New Year.
The Blood Tribe Communications and Community Engagement department released its full version of its first produced COVID-19 safety video on Oct. 12 on the Tribe’s website and other social media channels.
Director for Blood Tribe Communications and Community Engagement, Pam Blood, said the plan was to create some videos that would teach First Nations youth and others how to be safe during COVID-19 while also entertaining them at the same time.
“We launched them Oct. 12. It was the first ones. So we’ll have a series of about four altogether that we’ll be releasing about once a month,” said Blood.
To create a video that would provide a message on how to be safe, while grabbing kids’ attention in a “Sesame Street” style, the department reached out to Indigenous puppeteer DerRic Starlight from Tsuu T’ina Nation.
The first segment is called “Listen To Granny.”
“She goes over masking and that was paying homage to our elders and children listening to those who are trying to keep everyone safe,” said Blood. “When it came to the planning table it was ‘Sesame Street’ style and right away we all got nostalgic over it. We grew up with ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘The Muppet Show’ and those kinds of programs.
“So at that point as soon as I thought of puppets I thought of DerRic. He is from Tsuu T’ina Nation, but he does have a link to the Blood Reserve. His mother is from the Blood Tribe. So he has some family connections down here. When he came down and I pitched the idea to him he was more than happy to get on board. We were able to get that going and were able to figure out who was strong with the creativity and who was going to take over the script writing. We really pulled our talent pool together on that end and made sure it got off in a timely way because I think it’s hitting at a good point right now. Unfortunately, (COVID) numbers are going up a little bit.”
Blood said the feedback to the first video has been positive.
“In the end parents are doing their best to deliver and explain it to kids. It doesn’t discriminate against anybody. If we’re working together, especially within this area to keep going with these safety measures, we’re really keeping a broader base just outside of ourselves,” said Blood. “We’re hoping we have that kind of impact, but for the time being it’s going back to the kids and a reminder that we’re still in a pandemic where frustrations are coming out, that’s just human nature. People are feeling the strain and the stresses and it has been a stressful time. But I think something like this, not to take away from the seriousness of the whole experience, it’s in a different light.”
For the past month, the Communications and Community Engagement department has worked with Starlight to create, develop and film two videos. The team plans to film two more safety videos in the coming weeks.
To view “Listen To Granny,” visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_cBjv9OWx4.
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