One Cool Thing: With Molly of Denali, Native Americans Get A Plucky Animated Heroine

This fall, PBS premiered a new animated show called Molly of Denali, that “stars” a ten-year-old girl from the Alaskan Athabascan Tribe with a bush pilot for a mother, a wilderness-guide dad, and a diverse cast of Alaskan friends and neighbors. Outside Magazine described it as “Dora the Explorer meets Northern Exposure, except that as the first show with an Alaska Native as its star, it’s in a category all its own.”  Princess Daazhraii Johnson, a creative producer for the series, makes sure Molly of Denali accurately presents Alaska Native values, language, and culture. And rather than just bring in a tribal member as a consultant, Daazhraii Johnson includes indigenous people whenever possible — from voicing the characters to writing scripts, to helping with animation. The show gives young Native Americans (and other kids from diverse backgrounds) an authentic role model who looks like them, while also introducing Alaska’s spectacular (and rapidly changing) environmental and cultural landscape to kids in the Lower 48. “She’s Molly of Denali” — and she is irresistible!

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What’s Threatening Biodiversity? Hint: It’s US!

What’s Threatening Biodiversity? Hint: It’s US!

Over the last century, humans have come to dominate the planet, causing rapid ecosystem change and massive loss of biodiversity across the planet.

Why This Matters: without a vibrant Earth our chances of adequately feeding and sustaining 9.8 billion people by 2050 become slim.

 

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Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Equates Climate Migrants to “Pollution”

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in a news segment on Monday night created a firestorm over racist remarks in which he claimed that proposals to allow many more climate refugees to enter the U.S. would result in overcrowding and would “despoil” and “pollute” our country. 

Why This Matters:  Millions of people around the world — including Americans — are already suffering due to climate change and it has created a refugee crisis.  According to the proposal’s proponents, since 2009, a climate-related disaster has displaced about one person every second due to severe weather events, famine, drought, and rising sea levels, and other climate impacts.  The United Nations believes that 22.5 million people worldwide have been displaced due to climate change since 2009 and that number could rise to 200 million forcibly displaced people by 2050. We will be confronted with this problem regardless of whether Congress passes a law allowing the government to deal with it directly.  

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The VA Won’t Fund Service Dogs For PTS Therapy

The VA Won’t Fund Service Dogs For PTS Therapy

Military dogs are often homeless once they are retired from service.  And worse, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) won’t pay for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) to adopt them or other dogs as service dogs. Congressman John Rutherford of Florida has introduced a bill — the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act of 2019  to provide funding to veterans diagnosed with PTS who would like to obtain a service dog.

Why This Matters: It would be a real win-win to see some of these dogs– or other dogs in need of homes — go to veterans who are suffering from PTS as an alternative or supplement to other treatments.

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