Canadian Indigenous broadcaster launches French-language national news program

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The new 30-minute program called Nouvelles Nationales d’APTN launches on Aug. 26. It will focus on Quebec’s 11 First Nations and provide a mix of personal profiles, extended news stories, investigative reports and national news. (APTN)
The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) has launched a weekly national newscast in French, with a host hailing from the James Bay Cree community of Waswanipi, Que.

The new 30-minute program called Nouvelles Nationales d’APTN launched Monday, and focuses on Quebec’s 11 First Nations and also provide a mix of personal profiles, extended news stories, investigative reports and national news.

“I think there’s a real need there,” said Sophie-Claude Miller, the show’s host and co-producer.

“There are lots of Indigenous nations in Quebec where people speak their own [Indigenous] language as well as French.”

Miller joined APTN in January after working with Radio-Canada’s Espaces autochtones, a French-language digital service. Before that she worked as a counsellor for many years.

I think we’ll bring a fresh look to national issues.

Sophie-Claude Miller, host and co-producer Nouvelles Nationales d'APTN

She says in her travels as a journalist, many people were “enthusiastic” about the idea of having a news program in French about Indigenous people and presented by Indigenous people.

“I think there’s a different perspective, a deeper cultural understanding,” said Miller. “I think we’ll bring a fresh look to national issues.”

Important bridge between cultures

Miller also says the show will be an important bridge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Quebecers, who have a growing interest in Indigenous stories.

While APTN has been offering French programs for many years, Nouvelles Nationales d’APTN is the network’s very first French national news program, according to Jean La Rose, the CEO of the network.

“A French news program has been in the works for a long time,” he said. “We are proud to launch this brand-new program on APTN.”

The first show featured guest Danielle Rochette, a Huron-Wendat journalist who recently retired after 14 years as the Quebec correspondent for APTN National News.

Nouvelles Nationales d’APTN airs on APTN every Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

With files from Radio-Canada

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Susan Bell, CBC News

Susan Bell, CBC News

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