Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) has submitted an application to renew its broadcasting licence to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The CRTC governs the conditions and terms by which APTN operates to provide programming to the Canadian audience. The licence renewal process is open to the public and all people are invited to participate by submitting letters and comments to the Commission.

APTN Licence Renewal Application can be downloaded from the CRTC website [click here]

For more than 18 years, APTN has been firmly rooted in Canada’s broadcasting landscape and has been an essential player in the content industry, providing high-quality programming that reflects the diverse perspectives of Aboriginal Peoples, their lives and their cultures. Programming by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples to share with all Canadians, reflecting the true perspectives, interests, issues and points of view of Aboriginal Peoples.

Our audience, community members and leaders, among many others have told us that APTN is making a difference in their lives and the lives of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. The truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada identified APTN as having a clear role to play in reflecting Aboriginal Peoples and supporting reconciliation.

It is no secret, the portrayal and representation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canadian television is meagre. APTN is the only Canadian network that stands out as the exception to this reality. The network is a window into the profound diversity of our cultures, lives and languages. APTN is diligent in giving Aboriginal Peoples the opportunity to hear and see themselves on the screen, and that Canadians as a whole can access meaningful, informative and non-stereotypical programming. Also, news stories that other broadcasters are not covering that reflect Aboriginal cultures and perspectives.


Highlights and accomplishments since APTN’s most recent renewal in 2013:

  • APTN was called upon by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to support reconciliation by continuing to provide leadership in programming and organizational culture that reflects the diverse cultures, languages, and perspectives of Aboriginal peoples.
  • On June 21, 2017, National Aboriginal Day, APTN produced its most ambitious live production since APTN first went to air in 1999. APTN hosted the 11th edition of its flagship production, Aboriginal Day Live, from eight cities across Canada. Evening concerts were made available to all Canadians and beyond through a live 7-hour multi-platform concert broadcast on APTN, Aboriginal radio waves and online. The event had an online and onsite draw of over 1.5 million participants.
  • APTN produced, commissioned and broadcast countless hours of programming by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and around the world. Recent leading and critically acclaimed dramatic programs include Blackstone and Mohawk Girls.
  • APTN actively supported the production of documentaries that reflect Aboriginal experiences and issues. For example Taken (co-produced for APTN and CBC) is a documentary series that focuses on solving the mysteries behind Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
  • APTN continues to provide in-depth, daily news and current affairs programming in every region of Canada; and is the only network dedicated to representing First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples.
  • APTN was the only North American network to provide extensive, daily coverage of resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline led by the Sioux over a period of nine months.
  • APTN plays a leadership role in producing and broadcasting language productions. In the last three years alone, APTN commissioned 124 different independent productions. Of these, more than half were commissioned with an Aboriginal language version. APTN has provided programming in 22 different Aboriginal languages over the current broadcast year, and will continue to offer a full range of language content over the next licence term.
  • In 2017, APTN was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers (for the fifth year), one of Manitoba’s Top Employers (for the ninth year) and, for the first time as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People. Currently, 65% of APTN employees identify as First Nations, Inuit or Métis.
  • Co-partnered with other Canadian broadcasters and funding agencies towards the creations of an Indigenous Screen Office.


Continued Distribution as a Basic Service
APTN has an important role to play in the Canadian broadcasting system. Continued distribution of the network as a mandatory basic service is necessary for APTN to continue to play this role.

Necessary Funding to Meet our Mandate
APTN has proposed a monthly per subscriber wholesale fee of 36 cents for the next licence term. APTN believes that this represents the minimum level of funding that is required for APTN to meet its conditions of licence.

This wholesale fee (which is the amount paid by cable, satellite and IPTV distributors to APTN for its service) is the bulk of what fuels APTN’s operations. The network does not receive government funding for operations, but generates revenue through subscriber fees, advertising sales and strategic partnerships.

Licencing Conditions
APTN proposes to operate in accordance with its existing licence conditions for the next term with the following adjustments:

  • Adjust Canadian Content level from 75% to 70% - this will permit APTN to broadcast additional Aboriginal programming from Aboriginal broadcasters and producers around the world. The increased flexibility in the schedule would reduce repeat factors for APTN’s programming by offering refreshed programming more often. We don’t believe the result will be less Canadian productions. Rather, the effect will be to reduce the number of repeats for the Canadian programs APTN broadcasts.
  • Reduce the overall scheduling requirement for Independent production from 80% of APTN’s Canadian programming on the schedule to 70% (other than news, current affairs and sports) – this scheduling flexibility will allow for more original programming, including the production of some regionally focused programs, and a reduction in repeats. APTN will be able to make better use of its resources overall to serve our audiences, while still devoting 70% or more of the Canadian programming on the schedule to independent productions.


Anyone can participate in the public proceedings by submitting your ideas, opinions and comments to the CRTC regarding APTN’s application for license renewal. Submit your written comments to the Secretary General of the Commission using these guidelines:

Submit a response online:

Visit www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/consultation and follow these steps:
  • Click on "Radio, TV and Distribution (Broadcasting)";
  • Find the Notice Number 2017-365 and click the "Submit" button associated to it;
  • The system will prompt you to complete the submission process;
  • You may complete your comments beforehand and update a document, or provide your comments directly online.

Alternatively, a printed letter can be sent via Fax or Mail TO BE RECEIVED BY THE DEADLINE of December 8, 2017:

Send one copy to CRTC:
  • Fax: 819-994-0218
  • Mail: Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2
Send a second copy to APTN via one of the following:
  • Email: licencerenewal@aptn.ca
  • Fax: 204-947-9307
  • Mail: APTN licence renewal, 339 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2C3
Information to be included:
  • APTN licence application file number 2017-0641-7 and our name: Aboriginal Peoples Television Network;
  • Whether you support or oppose the issue or application, or whether you simply want to provide a comment;
  • Details to support your position;
  • Whether you want to appear at a hearing, if a hearing is scheduled.

View sample letter to assist in supporting APTN's application [click here]

Deadline to submit is DECEMBER 8, 2017