CBC/Radio-Canada has unveiled the public broadcaster’s first-ever National Indigenous Strategy.
Strengthening Relations, Walking Together is a three-year plan committing to better reflect and serve First Nations, Inuit and Métis Canadians, and follows coast-to-coast consultations with the public and content producers, among other stakeholders.
Introduced at an event on Treaty 1 Territory in Winnipeg at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, the strategy is built on four pillars, including Narratives, grounded in principles of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the story and content development process, encouraging the use of Indigenous languages; People, increasing Indigenous representation at all levels of the organization, including leadership and professional development opportunities; Relationships, involving more Indigenous-owned vendors and creators in the broadcaster’s procurement process to support economic reconciliation; and Truth & Reconciliation, which will include a study on more respectful, inclusive, and accurate portrayals of Indigenous Peoples.
Among other actions, the strategy will see renewed investment in recruitment initiatives like Pathways, a learning and development program that helps First Nations, Inuit and Métis storytellers hone their journalism skills. CBC/Radio-Canada will also increase collaboration with Indigenous creators and organizations, like APTN and the Indigenous Screen Office. To that end, the public broadcaster has committed to an Indigenous podcast initiative to be developed in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Former CBC Radio host and Equity and Inclusion Advisor Robert Doane, who is based in Prince George, BC, has been named Senior Director, National Indigenous Strategy, tasked with leading a new Indigenous Office responsible for the oversight and implementation of the plan.
“I’m thrilled to see the launch of this first-ever National Indigenous Strategy,” Doane said in an announcement from the public broadcaster. “It’s the culmination of years of work and engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis from coast to coast to coast. And it’s more than words on a page — it’s a vibrant promise of ongoing, two-way engagement with Indigenous Peoples. It’s an invitation and an opportunity for everyone, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to join us on this journey.”
“Strengthening Relations, Walking Together honours the rich and diverse perspectives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis and reaffirms the national public broadcaster’s commitment to strengthening relationships across this vast land and advancing Truth and Reconciliation,” added CBC/Radio-Canada President & CEO Catherine Tait. “This strategy provides an important framework to measure our commitment to amplifying the voices of Indigenous creators and communities, as well as our own employees and leaders at CBC/Radio-Canada. While the public broadcaster cannot right the wrongs of the past, this strategy provides us a roadmap for greater learning, collaboration and understanding for the future.”
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