Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (more commonly referred to as APTN) is a Canadian broadcast and cable television network. APTN airs and produces programs made by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples. It is noted as the first of its kind in the world and is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The creation of APTN can be traced back as far as 1980 when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued the Therrien committee report. In that report, the committee drew the conclusion that there was a growing interest of northern Aboriginal peoples in developing their own media services and that the government has a responsibility to ensure that broadcasting landscape supports Aboriginal languages and cultures. They also noted that measures be taken to enable northern native people to use broadcasting to support their languages and cultures.
The implications of this report led to the creation the Northern Broadcasting Policy on March 10, 1983 by the Canadian government. It was a policy which laid out the principles for the development of Northern native-produced programming. Within this policy also came the Northern Native Broadcast Access Program, a funded program used to produced radio and/or television programs in First Peoples’ languages to reflect their cultural perspectives.
One of the main problems identified soon after the programs creation was program distribution via satellite. Thus, in January 1987, Canadian aboriginal and Northern broadcasters met in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to form a non-profit consortium with the goal of establishing a Pan-Northern television distribution service. In 1988, the Canadian government gave the organizers $10 million to establish the network. The application for the new service, initially known as Television Northern Canada (TVNC), was approved by the CRTC in 1991, and the network officially launched on over-the-air signals to the Canadian territories and far northern provinces on January 21, 1992.
National expansion and re-launch
After several years broadcasting in the territories, TVNC began lobbying the CRTC to amend their licence to allow TVNC to be broadcast nationally, showcasing the “uniqueness” and “significance” of a national Aboriginal service. On February 22, 1999, the CRTC granted TVNC a licence for a national broadcast network, On September 1, 1999; the network also re-branded as the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and was added to all specialty television services across Canada. APTN was the first national public television network for indigenous peoples
APTN offers a variety of programming related to Aboriginal peoples, including documentaries, news magazines, dramas, entertainment specials, children’s series, movies, sports events, educational programs and more. APTN’s network programming is approximately 56% English, 16% French, and 28% Aboriginal languages.
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