Call for comments – Co-development of an Indigenous Broadcasting Policy

The CRTC is reviewing the policy on Indigenous broadcasting so that online and traditional (radio and television) broadcasting in Canada can best support the creation, presentation and discoverability of Indigenous content throughout the broadcasting system.

The CRTC invites all Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada to participate in this proceeding, however, it is specifically calling on Indigenous peoples. The CRTC seeks to co-develop this policy with Indigenous viewers, listeners, broadcasters, and content creators. The CRTC will engage with Indigenous peoples at every phase during the process.

This document is a summary and lays out key issues and questions for the consultation. For the full content and a complete list of questions, please consult the Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2024-67.

This document is also available in the following languages: Plains Cree (Paskwâwinîmowin); South Baffin Inuktitut (Qikiqtaaluk nigiani); Ojibway (Anishinaabemowin); Denesuline (Dëne Sųłıné); Montagnais (Innu-Aimun); Mikmaq (Mi'kmawi'simk); and Michif.


In 2019-2020 (Phase 1), early engagement sessions took place with Indigenous broadcasters and content creators to better inform and determine the issues to be addressed in this policy review.  The detailed perspectives shared by the participants throughout these engagement sessions can be viewed in the “What You Said” report: CRTC Early Engagement Sessions.

On 2024-03-22, the CRTC launched the public consultations (Phase 2) by publishing Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2024-67 to call for comments on the co-development of an Indigenous Broadcasting Policy.

You have until 2024-07-22 to submit your comments.

The answers you will provide will help determine what should be contained in the new co-developed Indigenous Broadcasting Policy. To ensure that Indigenous peoples have the greatest possible opportunity to reflect on these questions and contribute to the co-development of the policy, this process will consist of multiple rounds of questions building on the answers received in the previous round.

Following the public consultation, the CRTC will present preliminary views (Phase 3) to Indigenous participants to provide an opportunity for further comments on the proposed policy.

For more information on the process and phases, please see Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2019-217.

Programming needs and reflection

Participants from the early engagement sessions noted that this process should reflect the Indigenous communities’ needs, experiences, issues with accessing broadcasting services, and explore what type of content is meaningful to community members.

  1. Q1. Do you have any challenges accessing and discovering Indigenous programming (radio, television and/or online broadcasting, which includes music, television shows, videos, films, news, weather, sports, podcasts, and community information)?
    1. What solutions to those challenges would you suggest?
  2. Q2. Do programs and content respectfully/accurately reflect you and/or your community? Please provide comments towards both Indigenous and non-Indigenous broadcasters (i.e. broadcasting services). 
    1. How could programming be more relevant and representative of Indigenous peoples?
  3. Q3. Do radio stations, television services, and online broadcasters meet your needs and interests? Please provide comments towards both Indigenous and non-Indigenous broadcasters.
    1. How can these services be improved so that broadcasting services better meet your needs and interests? Please explain.
    2. Do the programs and content respectfully/accurately reflect you and/or your community?
    3. How could programming be more relevant and representative?
    4. How do you receive programming services (over-the-air, cable, direct-to-home [satellite], or online)?
  4. Q4. If you are a content creator or a broadcaster, please comment on how partnerships could support Indigenous programming:
    1. What could potential partnerships between Indigenous and/or non-Indigenous broadcasters/content creators look like? Please provide examples of possible scenarios or existing partnerships.
    2. What incentives or measures could help Indigenous content creators in getting their content broadcast? Please provide examples of possible incentives or measures.

Revitalization of Indigenous languages and culture

Phase 1 participants explained that broadcasting in Indigenous languages is key to language revitalization, preservation, and reflecting Indigenous sovereignty. Participants expressed concern regarding the loss of traditional cultures due to the scarcity of radio and television programming that showcases Indigenous cultures, perspectives and languages.

  1. Q5. Does the programming you receive (such as music, spoken word, and video content) serve your needs and interests?
    1. What could be improved?
  2. Q6. How does the broadcast of Indigenous languages to a larger audience contribute to promoting and revitalizing Indigenous languages?
  3. Q7. As a broadcaster, are you aware of any community-lead initiatives that are happening to help preserve Indigenous languages?
    1. Are any of these efforts linked to broadcasting aspects (radio/television/online)?
    2. How can the Indigenous Broadcasting Policy further support Indigenous broadcasters’ efforts to preserve Indigenous languages and cultures?

Definitions of Indigenous content, success and co-monitoring

In previous CRTC decisions, Indigenous music selections were defined as “a musical selection written or performed by an individual who has Canadian citizenship and who self-identifies as Indigenous, which includes First Nations, Métis or Inuit.”

  1. Q8. Is this definition adequate for the purpose of ensuring the presence of Indigenous music throughout the broadcasting system? Please explain.
    1. Are there other definitions in use today that are widely accepted by Indigenous content creators and could be used for regulatory purposes? Please provide details and the sources of these other definitions.
    2. What are some existing guidelines that could be used to respectfully ensure the Indigeneity of audio content prior to being broadcast?

In the context of audio-visual, the CRTC defined an “Indigenous producer” as an individual who self-identifies as Indigenous, which includes First Nations, Métis or Inuit, and who resides in Canada, or an independent production company in which at least 51% of the controlling interest is held by one or more individuals who self-identify as Indigenous and who reside in Canada.

  1. Q9. Does this approach define Indigenous content?
    1. Will it help to ensure the presence of Indigenous audio-visual content throughout the broadcasting system? Please explain.
    2. What alternate definition(s) of Indigenous audio-visual content should be considered?
    3. What organization(s), if any, should contribute to defining and identifying Indigenous audio-visual content? 

According to Phase 1 participants, the definition of success for Indigenous broadcasters and the programming they offer should be based on their own definition and not on colonial standards, where the focus is often on financial success versus the impact one has in one’s community. 

  1. Q10. What criteria should be considered in the definition of success?
    1. What does success look like for an Indigenous broadcaster?
    2. Should this definition be flexible for different circumstances?
  2. Q11. As an Indigenous broadcaster, how do you ensure that the programming you offer serves the interests and needs of Indigenous listeners/viewers?
    1. How do you measure this?
    2. What kind of performance indicators do you select? 
    3. In collaboration with the CRTC, who could help establish the performance indicators and measure their success?

Phase 1 participants suggested that at the end of the process, a national body should be formed to create a report card reflecting the current situation with broadcasters, with “action items” to itemize what needs to be done, when each activity will start, and when results were achieved.  One way to foster accountability through reporting is by co-monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Indigenous Broadcasting Policy.

  1. Q12. How do you define co-monitoring?
    1. Do you know any existing criteria for co-monitoring?


Phase 1 participants expressed the importance of recognizing communities’ need for self-governance, self-determination, and their work involving the preservation of culture. Monitoring is one aspect of broadcasting policy that fosters accountability between communities and the broadcasters that serve them.

Participants also noted that it is important for Indigenous broadcasters to form a united front to advocate for their needs in the larger broadcasting industry in Canada, and that ideally, Indigenous peoples would develop their own broadcasting policies and be regulated by their own independent body.

  1. Q13. How could the Indigenous Broadcasting Policy create space for monitoring by Indigenous peoples to ensure Indigenous narratives and stories are representative?
  2. Q14. What are the benefits and challenges to establishing an Indigenous-led and Indigenous-managed broadcasting association?
    1. Who would be best positioned to create, organize and manage such an organization?
    2. Should the CRTC be involved? If so, explain how.
  3. Q15. Are there other issues and concerns specific to the Indigenous broadcasting policy needing to be addressed?
    1. How can the CRTC increase participation of Indigenous peoples in its broadcasting proceedings?
    2. How can the CRTC support Indigenous communities in exercising their self-determination? Please elaborate.
    3. How would you like to be engaged to provide solutions?

How to participate

To participate, you can submit your responses/comments in one of the following three ways: 

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