CBC/Radio-Canada celebrates National Aboriginal Day and remains committed to sharing Indigenous stories

June 21, 2016, Ottawa

On this 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day, CBC/Radio-Canada is proud to celebrate Indigenous people’s rich contribution to our country’s culture and heritage and remains committed to being the public space where Indigenous people’s stories can live.

At CBC/Radio-Canada, Indigenous people are at the heart of our news coverage, our service to northern communities, our programming and of our hiring and training practices.

CBC/Radio-Canada provides radio, television and online services to seven communities in eight aboriginal languages; (Dogrib, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, Chipewyan, North Slavey, South Slavey, Gwich’in, and Cree) via CBC North. It is a vital service to many in the North whose first language is neither English nor French. Our networks and regional stations showcase indigenous culture, music, programming and talent on a regular basis.

‘‘Indigenous programming informs all Canadians about the reality of Indigenous life in Canada; the challenges, the successes, and the richness of Canada’s Indigenous culture’’, said Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. ‘‘It creates understanding and appreciation for Indigenous history. That is why we are proud to create a variety of substantive and powerful platforms for Indigenous voices across the country.’’ Programs like Unreserved on CBC Radio, documentaries such as Courants and Je suis Michif on Radio-Canada and the Legends Project, which has digitized traditional oral stories, legends and histories of Canada’s Inuit and First Nations from communities across the country.

The road ahead

Looking forward, we want to share even more Indigenous stories. Here is a sample of some projects that we are currently working on at CBC/Radio-Canada:

  • Today, CBC News is rolling out an online interactive and related programming across all platforms to mark National Aboriginal Day. The online interactive "I am Indigenous" will introduce Canadians to seven of Ontario’s inspiring and innovative Indigenous community builders;

  • Also today, CBC Docs has issued a call for emerging Indigenous storytellers to submit pitches for multi-platform short documentary content representing their personal reflections of Canada;

  • Today, for National Aboriginal Day, ICI Musique is launching a multiplatform documentary, Ce que nous sommes which will explore identity issues. This documentary features three Indigenous artists, Samian, Élisapie and Florent Vollant;

  • Radio-Canada will broadcast Stanley Vollant : De Compostelle à Kuujjuak; a mini-series following the journey of an Innu doctor across Canada;

  • This year, ICI Première’s Heure du Monde will spend a week in Canada’s North to meet and engage with Indigenous communities;

  • The third and fourth seasons of Blackstone, a raw and authentic APTN drama which explores First Nations' power and politics will air this summer on CBC Television;

  • CBC and APTN will co-commission and co-broadcast Taken, a documentary series which will look at the stories of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and we have even more groundbreaking factual and dramatic series in various stages of development including The Council, The Orenda, Code Brothers, and Shannen’s Dream School;

  • Radio-Canada International (RCI) will launch a web portal Portail : Espaces Autochtones which will feature important content, news and stories about Indigenous people;

  • This year, during Aboriginal month, CBC-TV will have aired almost a dozen titles that each offer unique perspectives into indigenous culture, including Lesser Blessed, Uvanga and Truth, Dance and Reconciliation.

Recruiting and retaining Indigenous talent

At CBC/Radio-Canada, we work with schools, bands, publications and Indigenous communities across the country to identify, train, and hire, Indigenous talent.

In collaboration with the First Nations Education Council, we are currently recruiting First Nations people for journalism internships which will take place in the fall. We have everything to gain from this new form of inclusive partnership: not only will the interns allow the public broadcaster to provide more accurate, culturally sensitive coverage of First Nations realities, including noteworthy initiatives taking place in First Nations communities, but they will also bring a unique perspective to general news reporting.

We also offer paid internships to Aboriginal and Inuit recruits with partners such as the Canadian Journalism Foundation, University of British Columbia, Walrus Talks, First Nations University, Nunavut Sivuniksavut College/Algonquin College, and Journalists for Human Rights.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective.

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