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The Birth of APTN,
the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network

Dateline: September 17, 1999

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network logo     On September 1, 1999, Television Northern Canada became the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. To viewers, the change was subtle, but the development of APTN has been a major development in Canadian programming, particularly as it applies to Canada's Far North.

    The program schedule is to be at least 90 per cent Canadian content, with the balance being Aboriginal programs from many other countries around the world, including the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

    The majority of the programming remains the same as Northerners have been used to seeing on TVNC, and the new programs which have been added so far have also generally received very good reviews. About 60% of the programming is in English, 15% in French, and 25% in a variety of aboriginal languages.

    Initially, there will be no news or other live programming on APTN, but that is scheduled to begin in January 2000. If news segments are produced in the network's Iqaluit, Yellowknife and Whitehorse studios, APTN has the opportunity to capture a large share of the "6 o'clock news" viewers in the North, as a common complaint is that no such service now exists.

    For Northerners, one of the main advantages of having APTN on the air across Canada is that everyone who can tune in a Canadian TV station, anywhere in the world, can now see what our part of the world is really like. And the birth of new ways of getting the truth out is always good news.

Milestones in Television in Northern Canada

APTN logo used with permission