REVIEW: ‘Spirit Rangers’ celebrates nature, community and indigenous storytelling – Native News Online | Dauktion

The celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday served as a powerful reminder that indigenous people are still here and Indigenous people should not feel invisible.

This is a powerful message for all Indigenous Peoples, but especially for younger Indigenous people. It is no coincidence that it is also a central message of the new Netflix animated series, spirit ranger.

The 10-episode preschool fantasy-adventure series celebrates nature, community and the rich heritage of indigenous storytelling. The premise follows the three Skycedar siblings and their family of park rangers looking after the Chumash territory.

The children have a secret. They can transform into “ghost rangers” to protect the park’s nooks, crannies and creatures. With new perspectives as a grizzly bear cub, red-tailed hawk and spunky turtle, the Skycedar kids face every challenge with bravery and compassion – from helping a lost Thunderbird to waking a sleepy sun.

Each 22-minute episode is divided into two parts that contain new story arcs and character arcs. The format of the episodes depicts parking problems, family incidents, or events connected to the characters’ storylines in the spirit realm. The junior park rangers must find solutions to save the park, help their friends or learn lessons to better understand each other. Some themes reflect issues specific to indigenous people, while most episodes teach children how to be good people.

It’s a refreshing take on a family-themed show with fantastical elements that just happen to revolve around young indigenous heroes. Their family dynamic creates a positive environment where the parents, voiced by Kimberly Guerrero (The Cherokee Word for Water) and John Timothy, show tremendous trust and trust in their children by allowing them space to be themselves. Debut appearances by Wačiŋyeya Iwáš’aka Yracheta (Kodi), Isis Celilo Rogers (Summer) and Talon Proc Alford (Eddy) really bring these characters to life.

Representation is important, and it’s prevalent throughout the show. Indigenous designs are literally infused into the surroundings and backgrounds with splashes of vibrant color culminating in innovative presentations.

Inspired by her own childhood memories and adventures with her sister, the show’s creator, Karissa Valencia, is a member of the Santa Ynez Chumash tribe. Valencia recognizes their Chumash ancestors as stewards of the land and uses the show as a reminder that indigenous people are still here and indigenous children shouldn’t feel invisible.

“I am forever grateful to Netflix Animation for trusting our team to tell our own stories and supporting us every step of the way. With their support, we have brought together Hollywood’s Native Avengers with Indigenous writers, actors, composers, artists, choreographers, consultants, sound designers and more,” said Valencia.

Indigenous spirit voice actors include industry legends Tantoo Cardinal (Smoke Signals, Stumptown) and Wes Studi (Reservation Dogs, Avatar), as well as veteran voice actress Cree Summer (Rugrats, Atlantis: The Lost Empire) as Lizard/Dee-Dee and Shaun Taylor. Corbett (Hi-5) as Coyote. The catchy theme songs were performed by award-winning singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza and multimedia artist Ehren Kee Natay (Navajo Nation).

Spirit Rangers is a prime example of Aboriginal creativity and Indigenous people. From the production team to the cast to the overall aesthetic of the series, Netflix took steps in the right direction to showcase Indigenous talent and enhance diverse perspectives and language from different tribal nations.

Viewers will enjoy the charming whimsy, laugh with these adorable rangers, and learn about the country-specific lore. Watch the Spirit Rangers trailer here.

More stories like this

10 indigenous people shape the culture
New ABC drama Alaska Daily sheds light on the MMIW crisis
Here’s what’s going on in Indian country: October 7th to 16th
Suspect in Museum of Plains Indian theft pleads guilty

Appreciate a local perspective on the news?

For the past decade, we’ve covered the important indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the Standing Rock protests and the toppling of colonizer statues during racial justice protests, to the ongoing murdered and missing indigenous women (MMIW) epidemic and the overdue reckoning surrounding assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian boarding schools, we’ve been there, to provide a Native American perspective and elevate Native American voices.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking for a donation this month to support our efforts. Every contribution – big or small – helps us to remain a force for change in the Indian country and to continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most of our donors make a one-time donation of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Aboriginal-run newsroom and our ability to report on indigenous news.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent indigenous journalism. Many Thanks.

About the author

Monica White Dove
Author: Monica White DoveE-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Monica White Pigeon (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is a contributor to Native News Online. Her focus is on contemporary Native American art, Great Lakes tribes and urban Native American themes. She can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment