Blackstone is a raw, authentic drama that tells the story of the fictitious Blackstone First Nation, suffering disintegration by its own corrupt leadership. From within the community, young leaders emerge opposing the status quo to create lasting and substantial change.
Steven Cree Molison, of Cree and Scottish decent, plays Daryl Fraser, the owner of the Roxy Rolla strip club. While he no longer lives in Blackstone, he still finds himself connected to the reserve through his brother, the chief, who abuses his power using both charm and intimidation.
Blackstone is a series aired on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and this month we will be broadcasting the Blackstone Marathon starting on Sept. 21 to gear viewers up for the launch ofSeason III on Sept. 28.
I talked to Steven about his experience growing up in the Yukon and the importance of being part of Blackstone’s controversial message.
Sheldon McRae: You were born in southern British Columbia, but also raised in the Yukon for a period of time. How long were you raised in the territory and what fond memories do you have?
Steven Cree Molison: I lived in Dawson City at six months old. I also lived in Watson Lake, Carcross, Whitehorse and then a mining camp in Tungsten, NWT. We left that area when I was 10, and moved to Yellowknife. I remember Watson Lake more than anything else. I also remember the long summers.
We lived in a skid shack that was 12 feet by 20 feet for one year before I started Grade 1. We lived a smaller lifestyle and were comfortable.
SM: How did you come to realize you had an Aboriginal background?
SCM: To give you context,I was adopted at birth by a non-Aboriginal family. When I was searching for my family, I found out about my background. I met my biological parents when I was 21 years old.
SM: What’s the story behind Dawson City naming a street after your father?
SCM: My father was a mechanic at the time and was granted his pilot’s license. He also owned his own planes. At Callison Air Park, one of the roads is Molison Drive, which is named after my father.
SM: Blackstone is known for its bold portrayal of issues affecting First Nations People. Why is it important for you to be part of this sometimes-controversial message?
SCM: It’s important for all of us that have the ability to be part of it, whether the actor believes it or not. We need to shine a light on issues, on racism, on equality, even for people who see us only as actors.
I’m a carpenter by trade. I’ve worked on reservations and taught others how to build houses. I know the chief and his family get houses, and I know that money only goes so far. There are certain people that are left out in the cold.
SM: How do you feel Blackstone has influenced acting opportunities for youth?
SCM: Hopefully children are inspired to become actors. This year over 200 children auditioned for Blackstone and they never auditioned for past seasons. Two young people were successful in getting parts this season.
To catch up on the story, APTN is broadcasting seasons I and II during the Blackstone Marathon this month. The marathon features nine episodes from Season I, on Sept. 21 beginning at 7 p.m. (PT) and concluding at 4 a.m. (PT) on APTN North; and eight episodes from Season II, on Sept. 22 beginning at 7 p.m. (PT) and concluding at 3 a.m. (PT) on APTN North.
Blackstone III premiers Sept. 28 at 9:30 p.m. (PT) on APTN North.
To watch or re-watch episodes, APTN streams the Blackstone episodes on their website. Go to APTN.ca/Pages/FullEpisodes/Blackstone
A schedule of APTN’s presentations can be found on APTN.ca.