By NATIVE NEWS ONLINE STAFF
February 19, 2016 – Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), a Canadian based cable channel dedicated exclusively to indigenous content, has committed to launching All Nations Network (ANN) in the U.S. ANN will be the first network to bring both native and non-native audiences in the U.S. a 24-hour network providing native news, sports, scripted, lifestyle, feature-length movies and children’s programming written, produced, and directed by Native Americans, among others. Network distribution in the U.S. is being represented by Castalia Communications.
In the midst of the discourse over the lack of diversity in Hollywood, some of entertainment’s top stars and creators have joined to endorse ANN’s U.S. entrance. From Robert Redford to Oscar nominated actor Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves), Robbie Robertson (The Band) and acclaimed director Jim Jarmusch they have joined in endorsing the network. Their voices echo the Golden Globes speech by actor Leonardo Dicaprio who thanked the First Nations people in his acceptance speech for his award for “The Revenant.”
“I want to share this award with all the First Nations people represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world,” the actor said at the award ceremony held in Los Angeles. “It’s time that we recognized your history and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people that are out there to exploit them,” added DiCaprio. “It’s time that we heard your voice and protected this planet for future generations.”
“There is demand for a national Native network across the country,” said award winning filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. “A vibrant new generation, a golden era of Native film-makers and artists will be born and have a dedicated channel through which to express their voices. There is a market that is waiting. There is an audience that is waiting. The time is now.”
“We think the time is right for Native Americans to have their own channel and are happy to see the positive discussions Castalia has had with major US Pay TV operators,” says Jean La Rose, APTN’s Chief Executive Officer. “Certainly, our experience in Canada has been one of creating and providing opportunities for our producers, for our storytellers, to tell our stories, in our words, to our Peoples and to the world. Native American producers are poised and eager to have the same opportunities and we believe that we can work together to provide a unique window into the lives – past, present and future – of this community.”
For more than 15 years, APTN’s award-winning programming in Canada has reached a staggering 92% of Canadian households and commercial establishments, and has strong traction with both First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples and non-Aboriginal communities. Over 80% of Aboriginal men and women in Canada find content on APTN a source of pride.
READ FULL ARTICLE: Staff, Native et al. “Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) Announces US Sister Network All Nations Network (ANN)“. Native News Online. N. p., 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.