Made by Calgary’s Prairie Dog Film + Television with Ron E. Scott as showrunner, Blackstone is a drama series that was nominated for 89 Canadian film and television awards, and stars a roster of incredible Indigenous acting talent, including Tantoo Cardinal, Gary Farmer, Nathanial Arcand, Eric Schweig and Roseanne Supernault. Set in the fictional Indigenous community of Blackstone in Alberta, this sprawling five-season series deals with family issues, local politics, corruption, and so much more.
At the heart of the series is the Stoney family, with Gail Stoney (Michelle Thrush) battling heartache, loss, and addiction. Gail’s sister Leona (Carmen Moore) tries to pick her up every time she stumbles. Meanwhile the Fraser brothers, Chief Andy Fraser (Eric Schweig) and Daryl (Steven Cree Molison), who owns the local strip club, usher in the battles of morality that are often swayed by money and power.
Comparable to The Sopranos and The Wire, this gripping series weaves together multiple plotlines in a masterful way. Despite ending in 2015, the series is incredibly relevant to Indigenous issues today, with several plot lines relating to oil drilling, blockades and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Review by Kelly Boutsalis
Carmen Moore, Eric Schweig, Michelle Thrush, Steven Cree Molison