Tired of being exploited by the film and TV industry, Native Americans gave Hollywood a wakeup call in early October, reports Indian Country Today.

A council of First Nations actors, actresses and activists said it is unacceptable for non-natives to be cast as natives in films and on TV. They also called on the industry to stop inaccurate and demeaning portrayals of Native Americans.

“We’re not going to allow our images to be distorted and fictionalized any more,” said Sonny Skyhawk, a Sicangu Lakota who has worked in the film business for 26 years.

Skyhawk formed American Indians in Film in 1990 to advocate for accurate portrayals of natives. His research shows that of 2,747 films with native themes, only 136 used actual natives. Of 196,000 hours of TV shows on native topics, 46 per cent included non-natives playing natives.

Skyhawk said the coalition would call up business that advertised on offensive programs and threaten to boycott their products.