Australia’s National Indigenous Television (NITV) is launching Rewired, a children’s show focusing on Indigenous science and sustainability, on August 13.
The four-part series follows Dr. Rae Johnston and her sidekick WOM-BOT X as they go on missions to discover Aboriginal Intelligence (AI), addressing themes like climate change, physics and astronomy along the way. Additional materials—including online games, video extras, educational resources and classroom activities—will be available online.
NITV has partnered with international organization Earth Guardians for the series, which empowers young environmental and social leaders through education, tools and resources. The Australian network also worked with environmental advocates on each episode, including Afro Roots artist and humanitarian Rocky Dawuni, filmmaker and deep sea explorer James Cameron, and Black Eyed Peas rapper and Indigenous rights activist Taboo. The series is guided by Article 46 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with the 17 United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Rewired‘s theme song was written in collaboration with international musicians Aloe Blacc, Maya Jupiter and Quetzal Flores of Artivist Entertainment. Additionally, First Nations youth in Los Angeles and Sydney contributed through two song-writing workshops.
Kids producers have started to integrate more thoughtful Indigenous content into shows recently, including the upcoming PBS KIDS series Molly of Denali, which will be the first children’s series distributed in the US to feature an Alaska Native lead character. Not only will the lead, Molly, be an Alaska Native, but the actress playing the character will be as well. Co-produced by WGBH Boston and Atomic Cartoons, the animated series was greenlit this spring and will premiere next summer on PBS KIDS and the pubcaster’s 24/7 channel and digital platforms.
Also this year, production began on the second season of Coyote’s Crazy Smart Science Show for Canada’s Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN). The 13 x 22-minute series encourages kids to explore the world of science from an Indigenous perspective.