< Blog

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network

Posted January 31st, 2017


We are excited to share some great news from the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)! The APTN will be bringing an Aboriginal radio service to Calgary, called First Peoples Radio Inc. They have also been approved by the CTRC for stations in Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver. The approval of these stations finally gives a media outlet offering a true reflection of Aboriginal Peoples.

Below is information provided by APTN about the radio channels, and programming that will be included:

First Peoples Radio Inc.

Radio Applications for Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa


Our Inspiration
Aboriginal voices and creative talent are marginalized in popular culture and non-Aboriginal media in Canada. Even where the intentions are good, our market research shows that Aboriginal Peoples in urban areas feel that existing stations don’t reflect their presence in the community. When they do, the portrayal is often negative, feeding off the more sensational and tragic stories of the day.

Our purpose is to fill this gap. We intend to offer programming that reflects the broader range of experience and concerns of Aboriginal Peoples in these communities – and that highlights the growing pool of exceptional Aboriginal musical talent, which now receives no airplay.

Key Elements of First Peoples Radio’s Applications
First Peoples Radio’s (FPR’s) applications are based on providing high-quality, popular and regularly programmed local radio service to serve the Aboriginal communities in each urban market. The following is a brief overview of our applications:

–   Offer a music-based service, complemented by a mix of local news and spoken word programming;
–   A minimum of 25% of all musical selections will feature an Aboriginal writer (music or lyrics) or performer;
–   Proposed schedule includes more than 23.5 hours each week of spoken word content. This content is woven into our schedule to provide a comprehensive service to local communities;
–   Approximately 70% of programming on the station will be presented by local hosts, featuring Aboriginal musical artists and focused on urban Aboriginal communities and their interests;
–   Applications are based on an effective local presence. Each station will have locally-based programming, news and technical personnel and local studio facilities;
–  Committed to support emerging Aboriginal artists and musicians. Allocated $100,000 each year ($20,000 per station) to conduct local music talent discovery, culminating in a live nationally televised performance on Aboriginal Day Live each year;
–  Operate separately from APTN, but there are synergies involved with employing the network’s existing news and information resources and central infrastructure to support the stations. APTN’s national scope, its management experience and its long-standing commitment and support for Aboriginal music will be important to the success of FPR.

FPR’s Programming Formats


  • The format will be popular in tone and draw from different music categories, including pop, blues, rock, alternative and folk;
  • Interviews and features with Aboriginal musicians and artists in our nightly Get to Know program.


  • Local news, weather and sports information, including regular news breaks throughout the day, especially during high listening periods;
  • News programs, including APTN Nation to Nation, APTN Face to Face, and APTN Laughing Drum, offered on national basis across all stations;
  • Direct input from listeners on matters of concern through a daily local call-in program Moment of Truth (on weekdays) and a weekly national call-in program In Focus;
  • Regular listener feedback through our Street Talk and Shout Out features, which leverage new app-based technology to encourage interaction.


  • Weekly local programs in and about Aboriginal languages directed to the urban Aboriginal community in each city.  Where possible, this programming will be sourced from and shared with broadcast partners, including existing Aboriginal communications societies and Aboriginal educators in the community;
  • Light-hearted Word of the Day feature in an Aboriginal-language, and other regular Aboriginal-language programming and music.

Our Vision

FPR is strongly committed to providing distinctive and popular radio services in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Each station will be locally-based and provide meaningful and substantive content that is directly relevant to urban Aboriginal communities in those cities.

Our vision also includes the capacity for the stations to share programming and to produce and acquire programs on a national basis. We believe strongly that this element of our application will be important to the success of each individual station.  Each station will be strongly connected to the local communities in each city, and share in the important national voice and issues relevant to Aboriginal Peoples across the country.

For more information on APTN please visit their website.

< Blog