Aboriginal Peoples Television Network

The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN, stylized aptn) is a Canadian specialty television network. Established in 1992 with government support to broadcast in Canada's northern territories, since 1999 APTN has had a national broadcast licence. It airs and produces programs made by, for and about Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, it is the first network by and for North American indigenous peoples.[1]

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
LaunchedJanuary 21, 1992
Owned byAboriginal Peoples Television Network Inc.
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
Broadcast areaNational
HeadquartersWinnipeg, Manitoba
Formerly calledTelevision Northern Canada (1992–1999)
Whitehorse, YTCHWT-TV 10
Yellowknife, NTCHTY-TV 11
Other AreasSee Below
Bell TVChannel 269 (East) (SD)
Channel 270 (CHTY-TV)
Channel 1197 (HD)
Shaw DirectChannel 350 (East SD)
Channel 55 / 555 (East HD)
Available on most cable systemsChannel slots vary on each provider
Bell Aliant Fibe TVChannel 23 (East SD)
Channel 414 (HD)
Bell Fibe TVChannel 269 (East SD)
Channel 1269 (HD)
Bell MTSChannel 14 (West SD)
Channel 425 (HD)
Optik TVChannel 125 (West HD)
Channel 9125 (SD)
SaskTelChannel 22 (West SD)
Channel 322 (HD)
ZazeenChannel 127 (East SD)
Channel 128 (HD)
VMediaChannel 70 (SD)



In 1980, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued the Therrien Committee Report. In that report, the committee concluded that northern Indigenous peoples had increasing interest in developing their own media services and that the government has a responsibility to ensure support in broadcasting of Indigenous cultures and languages. The committee recommended measures to enable northern native people to use broadcasting to support their languages and cultures.

The Canadian government created the Northern Broadcasting Policy, issued on March 10, 1983. It laid out principles to develop Northern native-produced programming. The policy included support for what was called the Northern Native Broadcast Access Program, a funded program to produce radio and/or television programs in First Peoples' languages to reflect their cultural perspectives.

Soon after the program's creation, problems were recognized in the planned program distribution via satellite. In January 1987, Canadian aboriginal and Northern broadcasters met in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to form a non-profit consortium to establish 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. The network officially launched on over-the-air signals to the Canadian territories and far northern areas of the 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; they promoted 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). It was added to all specialty television services across Canada.[2] APTN was the first national public television network for indigenous peoples.[1]


In 2009, APTN had an annual budget of C$42 million.


APTN's service consists of six different feeds: two terrestrial feeds, separate national cable feeds for Eastern (Ontario and east), Western Canada (Manitoba and west), Northern Canada, as well as a national HD feed.

The terrestrial feed, the successor to the original TVNC, is available over-the-air in Canada's far northern areas. It consists of flagship station CHTY-TV[3] in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, semi-satellite CHWT-TV[4] in Whitehorse, Yukon, and numerous low-powered rebroadcasters across the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Alberta, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

On August 31, 2011, APTN shut down 39 low-power television repeaters across the Northwest Territories and Yukon,[5] representing nearly half of its over-the-air transmitters. Although this discontinuation was conducted on the same day as Canada's over-the-air digital conversion deadline in certain mandatory markets, these over-the-air transmitters were not subject to this deadline. None of the mandatory conversion-to-digital markets were located the Northwest Territories or Yukon.

In November 2016, CEO Jean La Rose told the Winnipeg Free Press that APTN was negotiating carriage for a U.S. service. He noted that there was a high level of interest among Native Americans for programming relevant to their communities.[6]

Over-the-air repeaters of APTN (Alberta)
City of licence Channel Callsign Notes
Chateh 13 CKCA-TV [7]
Over-the-air repeaters of APTN (Newfoundland and Labrador)
City of licence Channel Callsign Notes
Goose Bay 12 CHTG-TV Has application to convert to digital as CHTG-DT on VHF 7[8]
Hopedale 12 CH4153
Makkovik 12 CH4151
Nain 12 CH4154
Postville 12 CH4152
Rigolet 12 CH4155
Over-the-air repeaters of APTN (Northwest Territories)
City of licence Channel Callsign Notes
Fort Good Hope 12 CH4200
Fort McPherson 10 CH4205
Fort Simpson 14 CH4202
Fort Smith 10 CH4206
Hay River 12 CH4160
Inuvik 13 CH4221
Norman Wells 12 CH4220
Ulukhaktok 13 CH2553
Yellowknife 11 CHTY
Over-the-air repeaters of APTN (Nunavut)
City of licence Channel Callsign Notes
Arctic Bay 11 CH4196
Arviat 7 CH4158
Baker Lake 12 CH4156
Cambridge Bay 13 CH2550
Cape Dorset 12 CH4157
Chesterfield Inlet 6 CH4213
Clyde River 6 CH4172
Coral Harbour 4 CH4197
Gjoa Haven 13 CH2552
Hall Beach 12 CH4214
Igloolik 12 CH4201
Iqaluit 10 CH4161
Kimmirut 6 CH4198
Kugaaruk 13 CH2554
Nanisivik 11 CH4178
Pangnirtung 12 CH4162
Pond Inlet 12 CH4163
Rankin Inlet 12 CH4265
Resolute 12 CH4208
Sanikiluaq 12 CH4217
Taloyoak 13 CH2555
Whale Cove 10 CH4219
Over-the-air repeaters of APTN (Quebec)
City of licence Channel Callsign Notes
Akulivik 12 CH4189
Aupaluk 11 CH4182
Inukjuak 11 CH4191
Ivujivik 11 CH4190
Kangiqsualujjuaq 12 CH4183
Kangiqsujuaq 12 CH4185
Kangirsuk 12 CH4184
Kuujjuaq 12 CH4195
Kuujjuarapik 7 CH4194
Povungnituk 7 CH4192
Salluit 7 CH4193
Tasiujaq 12 CH4187
Umiujaq 6 CH4188
Over-the-air repeaters of APTN (Yukon)
City of licence Channel Callsign Notes
Dawson City 9 CH4261
Upper Liard 11 CH4167
Watson Lake 5 CH4169
Whitehorse 11 CHWT

The Eastern Canada cable feed operated as the national feed until the Western Canada feed began service on October 2, 2006.

APTN is licensed as a national network by the CRTC, thus putting it on par with CBC Television, Radio-Canada and TVA. Since APTN's relaunch as a national network in 1999, all Canadian cable and satellite television providers have been required to include it in their basic service. However, many cable companies outside the Arctic place it above channel 60 on their systems, rendering it inaccessible to older cable-ready television sets that do not go above channel 60. The CRTC considered requiring cable companies to move APTN to a lower dial position, but decided in 2005 that it would not do so.[9]


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 c. 56% English, 16% French, and 28% Aboriginal languages.

Programs which have aired on APTN include:

Children's programming

APTN airs children's programming, primarily as part of the APTN Kids block and branding.

Sports programming

On March 24, 2019, APTN simulcast a Sportsnet-produced NHL game between the Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes with commentary in Plains Cree, as part of the Rogers Hometown Hockey package. The game tied in with Sportsnet originating on-location coverage from the Enoch Cree Nation reserve outside of Edmonton.[29][30] On December 13, 2020, APTN and Rogers announced that they would broadcast six games per-season in the language over the next three years.[31]

High definition

In March 2008, APTN launched a high definition channel known as APTN HD; initially, the HD feed was a straight simulcast of APTN's Eastern cable feed, complying with the requirement that a specialty channel's HD simulcast must be 95% identical in programming and scheduling to its standard-definition feeds. In May 2017, the CRTC amended APTN's license so that APTN HD's programming would no longer necessarily have to mirror the scheduling of the SD feeds, as long as 95% of its programming had aired at some point on one of APTN's SD feeds. The network argued that this change would allow it more flexibility in scheduling programming on APTN HD to reach a broader audience.[32]

First Peoples Radio

On June 14, 2017, a subsidiary of APTN, First Peoples Radio Inc. (FPR), was granted licences by the CRTC to operate radio stations in Toronto and Ottawa aimed at urban Indigenous populations in those cities. The Ottawa station will broadcast on 95.7 FM and the Toronto station will use 106.5 FM. Both frequencies had previously been allocated to Aboriginal Voices Radio which had its licenses revoked in 2015. FPR had also applied for licenses in Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver but the CRTC granted these to other applicants.[33]

First Peoples Radio Inc had originally announced that its two radio stations, CFPT-FM in Toronto[34] and CFPO-FM in Ottawa,[35] were to go on the air by June 2018 but later delayed its soft launch until October 24, 2018. FPR will produce and share programming with the Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation in Saskatchewan and Native Communications Incorporated in Manitoba and is also in talks with the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society, which has been granted radio licenses in Edmonton and Calgary, and Northern Native Broadcasting (Terrace), which operates an Indigenous radio station in Terrace, British Columbia and has been granted a license to operate a radio station in Vancouver, about potential programming partnerships.[36]

The stations first went on the air on October 24, 2018 at noon, branded as Elmnt FM.[37]

Expansion into the United States

APTN is working towards launching a similar outlet, tentatively titled All Nations Network, in the United States.[38] The network has already aired works produced in the United States, such as the full-length documentary film Skydancer, directed by Katja Esson, about the community of Akwesasne and its ironworkers. It was aired on both APTN and PBS in the United States in October 2012, after winning awards at film festivals.

See also


  1. Aboriginal People's Television Network. "About".
  2. "Dream Catcher". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
  3. Query the REC Canadian station database for CHTY-TV
  4. Query the REC Canadian station database for CHWT-TV
  5. Transmitters slated to shut down on August 31, 2011 Archived August 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Aboriginal TV network seeks U.S. expansion". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  7. Query the REC Canadian station database for CKCA
  8. Query the REC Canadian station database for CHTG
  9. Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2005–89, September 9, 2005
  10. Finding Our Talk, Mushkeg Media
  11. "APTN". aptn.ca.
  12. https://aptn.ca/kids/anaanas-tent/
  13. "Animism". aptn.ca.
  14. "May Schedule" (PDF). APTN.
  15. "APTN". aptn.ca.
  16. Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. "APTN.ca – APTN KIDS". aptn.ca. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011.
  17. "APTN". aptn.ca.
  18. "Aboriginal Peoples Television Network – APTN.ca – APTN Kids". aptn.ca. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007.
  19. "APTN". aptn.ca. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014.
  20. "Aboriginal Peoples Television Network – APTN Kids". aptn.ca. Archived from the original on 22 April 2006.
  21. "OSS – Page not found" (PDF). dntconsultinginc.com.
  22. "APTN". aptn.ca.
  23. "Planet Echo". aptn.ca.
  24. "Qanurli". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  25. "APTN". aptn.ca. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  26. http://aptn.ca/storiesofourelders/
  27. "APTN". aptn.ca.
  28. "APTN Kids – Aboriginal Peoples Television Network – APTN.ca". aptn.ca. Archived from the original on 17 July 2008.
  29. "Sportsnet, APTN Set to Deliver First Cree-Language NHL Broadcast on March 24". Sports Video Group. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  30. Fournier, Ariel; Kurtz, Rod. "Hockey night in Cree: Announcers preparing for historic NHL broadcast Sunday". CBC News. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  31. "APTN inks 3 year deal with Rogers to broadcast NHL games in Plains Cree". APTN News. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  32. "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-139". CRTC. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  33. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-06-14. Retrieved 2017-06-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. https://crtc.gc.ca/ownership/eng/toronto.htm
  35. https://crtc.gc.ca/ownership/eng/ott_gat.htm
  36. "First Peoples Radio stations to launch in Ontario". mediaincanada.com.
  37. "APTN to launch new Indigenous radio station ELMNT.FM in Toronto". Now, June 13, 2018.
  38. Steinberg, Brian. "All Nations Network, a Cable Outlet for Native Peoples, Wants to Launch in U.S." Variety. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
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