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Indigenous groups criticize ABC series 'Big Sky' for insensitivity to MMIWG

Last Updated Nov 26, 2020 at 12:54 pm EST

VANCOUVER — Several Indigenous groups are lambasting ABC’s “Big Sky” for a storyline about kidnapped women in Montana that fails to mention Indigenous victims.

The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs notes the Vancouver-shot series is set in Montana but ignores an epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in that state, as well as B.C.

UBCIC’s secretary-treasurer Kukpi7 (pronounced COOK’pee) Judy Wilson calls it “imperative” that “ABC demonstrate some awareness and cultural competency” regarding systemic violence against Indigenous women and girls. 

Similar complaints have been raised by the international Global Indigenous Council; the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association representing members of tribes in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska; and the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, which represents Montana’s eight federally recognized tribes.

They want ABC to add a graphic at the end of future episodes that contains information about the MMIWG crisis.

“Big Sky” premiered Nov. 17 on ABC and CTV with Canadian stars Katheryn Winnick and Kylie Bunbury alongside Ryan Phillippe as detectives on the hunt for two sisters kidnapped on a remote Montana highway.

It’s based on C.J. Box’s novel “The Highway,” which the critics say also failed to address the disproportionate number of Indigenous missing and murdered women in Montana.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press