Chad Solomon, a citizen of the Henvey Inlet First Nation, located in Ontario, Canada, is an author who writes and draws a series of graphic novels, picture books and puppet stories based on traditional Native teachings called Rabbit and Bear Paws.
Solomon sat down with the Hownikan to answer a few questions about this series.
Can you tell us about Rabbit and Bear Paws?
“This series is about the comical adventures of two brothers, Rabbit and Bear Paws. All the stories use humor and traditional Native teachings based on The Seven Grandfathers and The Seven Fires Prophecies. No matter how old you become, you should always be young-at-heart and laughter is the greatest medicine. This is the spirit behind the comical adventures of Rabbit and Bear Paws series.”
What made you decide to use puppets to tell these stories?
“Traditionally the stories were told orally and the best way to remember an oral story is to engage with the story by hands on experience. That could come from being a puppeteer or being part of the audience. Puppets are a great medium to allow the audience to learn, share and connect with a story physically. They literally become part of the story themselves and that is the best way to learn.”
Do you have a favorite puppet?
“My favorite puppet is the one that I’m working with at the time. Each character has its own special spirit and I want to make sure I enjoy that spirit and share that spirit with our audience.”
How long have you been doing this?
“I have been writing and drawing the stories of Rabbit and Bear Paws for ten years. I started doing the puppet shows and performances in 2010.”
Where can people find out more about you and your books, drawings and shows?
“You can always follow us online at our website. Every week we have a fresh new comic strip where you can laugh along with the comical adventures of Rabbit and Bear Paws.”
To find out more information about the author, books, drawings or shows, visit their website www.rabbitandbearpaws.com.