APTN’s Taken shines light on unsolved MMIWG cases

By Maria Shakhawat

Taken is a documentary series produced by Eagle Vision in Winnipeg and created by Lisa Meeches and Kyle Irving. Lisa is an award winning producer. She was nominated for her documentary We Were Children, which is highly admired by survivors of a residential school for its potential to heal. In addition, the public at large has been moved by its precise and true depiction of the impacts of the colonial history of Canada. Meeches’ other well-known shows are the Sharing Circle, the movie Elizah (2007) and the television show Burden of Truth

Taken first aired on the Aboriginal Peoples Television network on September 9, 2016, and was rebroadcast by the CBC later that year. The series depicts the mystery of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada by sharing their stories, as told by their family and friends. Taken concentrates on open cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, intending to elicit tips from viewers which can lead to ongoing inquiries. Taken is available on APTN LUMI and each episode is 30 minutes long. Taken is a four-season documentary series with 13 episodes per season. It is available in both English and Aboriginal languages. 

Taken is about unsolved cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Lisa Meeches, Kyle Irving and Rebecca Gibson are the producers of the series and the show hosts are Lisa Meeches and George Muswaggon. In an interview, Meeches explained that the idea for the show came to her when she was expecting her first daughter and realized that her expertise in the media was needed to tackle these issues. Lisa Meeches is a proud Ojibway woman from Long Plain First Nation and is one of the most innovative and admired producers in the film industry. 

Taken is a very interesting and informative television documentary series and each episode shares the story of a different woman. In the second season, for example, the first episode one is about a young woman, Hillary Angel Wilson, who came from the Cree Nation of Norway House and was murdered in August 2009 in Winnipeg. 

This show focused on true crimes and investigation which draws my interests.  I watched the first three seasons in two days and I am still watching season four. I am very obsessed with this documentary show. Currently, I am watching season four, which starts with an unsolved case about a family missing since 1989 from British Columbia. This true-crime documentary series encourages audiences to call the RCMP or Canadian Crime Stopper with information on featured cases.

The series brings all these mysterious cases and helps bring justice to the victims. As a woman, I cannot even imagine how hard it would have been for those Indigenous girls, who lost their lives or went missing and were never found. Host Lisa Meeches presents all the information in a very creative and informative way. The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network wants to make sure that Taken can reach as many audiences as possible. APTN wants the programme to be seen not just by the Indigenous audiences, but by all Canadians. 

The final episode leads the entire series to a strong conclusion. The stories explore the state of politics behind the issues, provide support, introduce the viewers to the actual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and MMIWG cast and crew stories and ask the question, “What’s next?” which leaves the viewers with a sense of hope. In conclusion, Taken is one of my favourite documentary shows by far, and I would encourage everyone who loves true crime and wants to understand the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to watch the series.