The Indigenous Story Studio, formerly known as the Healthy Aboriginal Network, has recently released a new animation relating to Indigenous youth and the wearing of masks.
Commissioned by Indigenous Services Canada, the 4-minute video presents an Indigenous youth struggling to understand the need to wear a mask during COVID.
Executive director of the BC-based studio, Sean Muir, says that some Indigenous people hesitate to use existing health services. “Our major problem is racism and being treated as stereotypes rather than as Canadians,” he says.
That issue aside, Muir believes that Indigenous uptake with respect to masks and vaccination is actually better than that of the general population. “We’re already a vulnerable population due to health, social and housing inequities,” he says.
The Indigenous Story Studio is a non-profit group that focuses on creating comics, graphic novels, animation and posters. The group has published more than 20 books in the last 16 years, and sold more than half-a-million books on a non-profit basis.
“Why try to ‘sell’ health and social information with a brochure or pamphlet, when a relatable, compelling narrative has a much better chance of connecting with the target audience?” he asks.