CBC and APTN announce agreement to support Indigenous programming

Broadcasters CBC and APTN, whose logo is shown above, have announced a ‘memorandum of understanding,’ which is intended to support programming from First Nations, Métis and Inuit creators. (APTN)

Broadcasters say they will increase audience, resources and hiring of First Nations, Métis and Inuit creators

A new collaboration between media organizations CBC and APTN aims to create more Indigenous content that reaches more Canadians and to improve the hiring and retention of Indigenous creators, the broadcasters announced Thursday.

The two agreed on a memorandum of understanding intended to increase the production of First Nations, Inuit and Métis programming and will affect entertainment and news programming.

The agreement is intended to increase training and resources for Indigenous creators, ensure the two share content and technical resources for news and information programming, and give a wider audience to productions majority-owned by Indigenous persons.

Leon Mar, a media representative for CBC, stated the memorandum will “broaden and deepen” an ongoing relationship between the organizations, which has already led to the creation of coming productions like the film The Beehive, miniseries Bones of Crows, the Indigenous awards show Indspire and more.

“We are delighted to begin this new collaborative partnership with CBC/Radio-Canada, which will help further the voices of Indigenous peoples through authentic news coverage and unique Indigenous-produced content,” APTN CEO Monika Ille said in a press release.

“Indigenous journalists, creators and producers will also feel its benefits since this partnership expands their reach and invites more Canadians to enjoy their work.”

Broadcasters to increase hiring of Indigenous creators

The agreement states the two will also “collaborate on their common objectives” of increasing hiring and retention of Indigenous employees.

The agreement follows a 2021 commitment from CBC to have at least 30 per cent of “key creative roles” in scripted and unscripted series held by creators who are either Indigenous, Black or a person of colour.

Also that year, editor in chief Brodie Fenlon attested the broadcaster “will exceed 55 per cent representation for new hires from three equity-deserving groups (people of colour, Indigenous peoples and people with disabilities) in the year ahead.”

According to a 2020 “cultural census,” roughly five per cent of full-time journalists at the broadcaster were Inuit, Métis or First Nations, and roughly seven per cent were in a senior leadership role. A media representative for CBC stated the agreement will not affect the hiring commitments already in place by the broadcaster.

APTN launched in 1999 as the world’s first national Indigenous broadcaster, and broadcasts roughly 28 per cent of its programming in a number of Indigenous languages.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: New media company puts Canada’s Dene Indigenous narratives first, founder says, CBC News

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