From a media release:
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 everyone is invited to participate by submitting letters to the Commission.
Since 2013, APTN has received a fee of 31 cents per Canadian subscriber through monthly subscription fees. This has fueled a nationwide network of Aboriginal producers, writers, directors, actors, broadcast professionals and Aboriginal news teams in every province and territory. In 2015, APTN was called upon by the TRC to support reconciliation through the continuation of our leadership in programming and organizational culture.
85. We call upon the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, as an independent non-profit broadcaster with programming by, for, and about Aboriginal Peoples, to support reconciliation, including but not limited to:
i. Continuing to provide leadership in programming and organizational culture that reflects the diverse cultures, languages, and perspectives of Aboriginal peoples.
ii. Continuing to develop media initiatives that inform and educate the Canadian public and connect Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
(Excerpt from Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, 2015)
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 their 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.
APTN is requesting a modest increase to their wholesale fee for the next term, so as to continue their service to Aboriginal audiences, sustain a strong and talented Aboriginal production industry and grow opportunities to better serve the needs of Aboriginal communities through a comprehensive strategic plan. The network does not receive government funding for operations but generates revenue through subscriber fees, advertising sales and strategic partnerships.
The network proposes to meet substantially the same conditions of licence as currently apply to their service with some adjustments to the conditions of licence providing for greater flexibility. Highlights of APTN’s successes and key components of their application, as well as information on how to participate in the process can be viewed at www.aptn.ca/licencerenewal. APTN’s application for licence renewal was officially submitted on July 28, 2017 and the deadline to receive letters is November 16, 2017.