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NFB and APTN enter into partnership to strengthen role of Indigenous Peoples and creators in the Canadian audiovisual industry

From a media release:

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and APTN announced today the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will pool the organizations’ efforts and expertise in implementing protocols, programs, training and other initiatives aimed at strengthening relations with Indigenous Peoples and creators. The MOU will have a lasting and positive impact on the Canadian production and distribution landscape and ensure these initiatives are more rapidly implemented. The agreement is the result of actions recently taken by each organization, particularly a three-year plan released by the NFB last June, entitled Redefining the NFB’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples (2017–2020), and the implementation of the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

“The NFB and APTN have a long history of working together. This MOU reflects our shared desire to build on what has already been achieved and ensures that the voices of Indigenous Peoples and creators can be heard in communities across the country. In doing so, we hope to help build a lasting legacy to hand down to current and future generations.” – Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the NFB

“APTN is proud to partner with the NFB by being part of a series of initiatives aimed at increasing the contribution and recognition of Indigenous Peoples and cultures to the Canadian film and television industry, in alignment with Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations. As the world’s first national Indigenous broadcaster promoting Indigenous talent for almost two decades, we look forward to sharing our journeys, our cultures and our stories with one of the key players in the Canadian media-production landscape.” – Jean La Rose, Chief Executive Officer, APTN

“The Government of Canada is delighted that the National Film Board of Canada is once again working together with APTN. This partnership, which is essential to reconciliation, will help diversify Indigenous productions and make the works of these artists even more accessible to Canadians.” – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

The partnership will primarily allow the organizations to:

  • pool their expertise to develop protocols regarding the access and use of archival materials in the NFB’s Indigenous collection and find ways to make this material more accessible to media artists;
  • develop production projects that make use of NFB documentary archival materials (stock footage, film clips and complete films) in new works that contextualize the content from an Indigenous viewpoint, thus taking a new critical and historical perspective;
  • help make the NFB’s Indigenous collections accessible through distribution, and work jointly through screenings similar to NFB’s Aabiziingwashi (Wide Awake) tour;
  • jointly develop internal protocols and best practices for the production and distribution of documentaries, animation and interactive/immersive works by Indigenous creators;
  • develop and implement hiring strategies grounded in best practices for onboarding, integrating, retaining and providing professional training to Indigenous employees;
  • develop and implement cultural competency training for NFB staff regarding Indigenous issues;
  • share audience-data analysis and research on reaching audiences.


Image of Jean La Rose (left) and Claude Joli-Cœur (right) courtesy of Doug Little.