Indigenous Broadcasting Policy (TV and radio)
The co-development of a new Indigenous Broadcasting Policy is underway. Find out more about what Indigenous broadcasters, content creators and artists told us during the early engagement sessions in the “What You Said ” report.
Current Indigenous broadcasting policy in Canada
The current policy for Indigenous broadcasting was introduced in 1990. The original Native Broadcasting Policy set out definitions, licensing processes and regulatory requirements for Indigenous broadcasters in Canada.
Changes have been made to this policy over the years. Here are some key highlights and important changes you should know about this policy:
- To operate an Indigenous broadcasting undertaking in Canada (for example, a television or radio station), the undertaking must be owned and controlled by a not-for-profit organization. The organization’s structure must allow for board membership from the Indigenous community the undertaking serves. These undertakings play a unique role in helping to develop Indigenous cultures and preserve Indigenous languages.
- Indigenous Peoples play an important role in all aspects of the broadcasting system, and as such, are not limited to operating only Indigenous broadcasting undertakings in Canada. Indigenous peoples can operate any type of broadcasting service, including in the commercial sector, as long as they meet the obligations and expectations of that service.
- An Indigenous program on television or radio can be broadcast in English, French or any Indigenous language, as long as the program targets a distinct Indigenous audience in Canada or focuses on some aspect of the life, interests or cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
- While the CRTC has ensured that there is space for Indigenous undertakings, Indigenous programming should be available throughout the broadcasting system, even on non-Indigenous services.
- The policy does not set out quotas for broadcasting a minimum amount of Indigenous programs or music in Canada. However, some broadcasting services may have specific licensing requirements to do so, whereas others may choose to do so at their own discretion.
In Public Notice CRTC 2001-70, the CRTC made changes to this policy in order to align certain radio-specific requirements with the commercial radio sector, while also reducing certain regulatory restrictions, such as:
- Removal of limits to advertising on radio;
- Requiring a minimum amount (35%) of Canadian music to be broadcast each week; and
- Encouraging Indigenous stations to use programming from other Indigenous stations or network programmers when using program blocks originating from other radio stations.
Note: there is no longer a requirement for radio stations or television networks to file a “Promise of Performance” when applying for a new licence or licence renewal.
More information on how to apply for a broadcasting licence from the CRTC.
Acts and Regulations related to Broadcasting services in Canada
- Broadcasting Act
- Television Broadcasting Regulations
- Discretionary Services Regulations
- Digital Media Exemption Order
- Radio Regulations
All Statutes and Regulations
- Date modified: