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About APTN National News

Annette Francis


Ottawa Bureau

Twitter: @aptnafrancis

Annette joined APTN’s Ottawa Bureau in January 2008. She is a proud Ojibway member of Alderville First Nation in Ontario.

Ashley Brandson


Winnipeg Bureau

email: abrandson@aptn.ca Twitter: @ashleybrandson     

Ashley grew up in Ste.Rose du Lac, Manitoba. She is also a member of Norway House Cree Nation. She received a diploma in Interactive Media Arts program at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon. Ashley joined APTN in May 2018 in the Winnipeg bureau.

Beverly Andrews

Video Journalist

Toronto Bureau

Twitter: @aptnbeverly

Beverly is a member of the Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation in Manitoba. She has worked in media for over a decade, including broadcast, film and the arts. She joined APTN in January 2017 from Regina, SK where she was a video journalist for CTV and Indigenous Circle.

Brittany Hobson


Winnipeg Bureau

Twitter: @bhobs22

Brittany joined the APTN news team in October 2016. She is Ojibway and a member of the Long Plain First Nation in Manitoba. Before coming to APTN, she graduated with a joint degree in communications from the University of Winnipeg and Red River College.

Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs

Video Journalist

Yellowknife Bureau

Twitter: @aptncharlotte

Charlotte is originally from rural southern Ontario. After graduating from women’s studies she completed her post-graduate at Humber College in broadcast and digital journalism. She worked in southern Alberta in radio news before joining APTN in Yellowknife.

Chris Stewart

Video Journalist

Edmonton Bureau

Twitter: @aptnchris

Chris Stewart has been in the media for 20 years. He has worked at CBC, Global and CTV as a news camera operator and editor. Chris joined APTN in 2012 in the Saskatoon Bureau and moved to APTN Edmonton bureau in 2015 as a Videojournalist.

Danielle Rochette


Montreal Bureau

Twitter: @danfromest

Danielle Rochette joined the APTN News team in August 2004 as a Reporter and Quebec Correspondent. She graduated from Concordia University in 1990 and is a proud member of the Huron-Wendat community of Wendake.

Justin Brake


Halifax Bureau

Twitter: @JustinBrakeNews

Justin Brake hails from Ktaqamkuk, Mi’kma’ki, or Newfoundland. He has worked as a journalist since 2003 and joined the APTN News team in November 2017. From the Halifax bureau, he will be covering Wolastoqiyik, Passamaquoddy, Mi’kmaq, Innu and Inuit communities throughout Atlantic Canada.

Kent Driscoll

Video Journalist

Iqaluit Bureau

Twitter: @KentDriscoll

Kent has been APTN’s Nunavut correspondent since 2007. In that time he has closely covered Inuit issues, including devolution and the controversial Nutrition North food subsidy. He has also worked for CKIQ-FM in Iqaluit and as a reporter for Nunavut News North.

Shirley McLean


Yukon Bureau

Twitter: @shirlmclean

Shirley comes to APTN with extensive experience in broadcasting. She’s been a producer with the Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon, and CTV and reported for CBC. Shirley is Tlingit and Tagish from the Daklawedi Killer Whale Clan and belongs to the Carcross/Tagish First Nation in the Yukon. She is a recipient of the National 2010 RTNDA Adrienne Clarkson Diversity Award.

Tamara Pimentel

Video Journalist 

Calgary Bureau

Twitter: @Tamara_APTN

Tamara is Métis from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She received a diploma in interactive media arts at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon and has worked as a videographer for CBC in Winnipeg and Iqaluit. Tamara was hired by APTN in 2016 as a camera/editor and is now a video journalist in our Calgary bureau.

Tina House

Video Journalist

Vancouver Bureau

Twitter: @inthehouse7

A proud Métis from BC, Tina began her television career in 1997 as a videographer. She has also produced documentaries and feature films that have won numerous awards at various film festivals.

Tom Fennario

Video Journalist

Montreal Bureau

Twitter: @tfennario

Born and raised in Montreal, Tom cut his teeth working in community television in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory before joining APTN as a cameraman/editor in 2008. In 2015 he was promoted to Video Journalist and has since helped cover important stories such as the Muskrat Falls protest in Labrador and anti-pipeline actions in North Dakota.

Willow Fiddler

Video Journalist

Thunder Bay Bureau

Twitter: @WillowBlasizzo

Willow is an Oji-Cree Anishinabe from Sandy Lake First Nation. Her background is in print journalism and she studied multimedia before entering broadcast news . She is passionate about the stories of the Anishinabe in northwestern Ontario, particularly in the remote north.

Dennis Ward


Winnipeg Bureau

Twitter: @DennisWardNews

Originally, from southern Manitoba, Dennis spent 2 years working for CHAT-TV in Medicine Hat and 8 years as a Video-Journalist in Thunder Bay at TBTV. Dennis returned to Manitoba to join APTN’s Winnipeg bureau as a reporter/correspondent in September 2014.

Melissa Ridgen


Winnipeg Bureau 

email: mridgen@aptn.ca

Melissa is a proud Red River Métis. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, covering everything from crime and courts to politics, Aboriginal affairs, and business. Melissa joined APTN in 2009 after more than a decade writing for newspapers.  She has been nominated for a number of awards and in 2016 won a Canadian Association of Journalists award for her story Hurting for Work on APTN Investigates.

Todd Lamirande 

Nation to Nation Host 

Ottawa Bureau 

tlamirande@aptn.ca @ToddLamirande  

Todd Lamirande is a member of the Métis Nation. He’s the Host/Producer of APTN’s political show, Nation to Nation. Todd first joined APTN in 2000 as a video journalist. He then anchored APTN National News for 2 years and moved on to host APTN Investigates for 5 seasons.

Kathleen Martens

Investigative Reporter

Winnipeg Bureau

Twitter: @katmarte

Kathleen started her career as a reporter at the weekly Russell Banner and quickly moved up to the daily Brandon Sun. She earned a number of editorial citations including a Manitoba Human Rights Journalism Award. Then it was on to the Winnipeg Sun where she became a city editor. Kathleen spent the last few years with CBC before joining APTN National News.

Kenneth Jackson

Producer Nation to Nation 

Ottawa Bureau

Twitter: @afixedaddress

Ken is an award-winning investigative journalist with a decade of reporting experience who played a key role in breaking the Bruce Carson story on APTN in 2011 which led to an award from the Canadian Association of Journalists. Ken has worked out of APTN’s Ottawa bureau since October 2012.

Mark Blackburn

Online Producer

Ottawa Bureau

Twitter: @MBlackburn21

Before moving to become the APTN National News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

Bruce Spence

Line Producer

Winnipeg Bureau

Twitter: @NDNCarguy

Bruce has been a member of the APTN News team since its inception in February 2000. A member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, he has over 30 years experience as a journalist.

Cheryl McKenzie

Executive Show Producer

Winnipeg Bureau

Twitter: @CMc_Kenzie

Cheryl McKenzie began working as a reporter for APTN in June 2001. Her work has been nominated for a Gemini Award and a Canadian Association of Broadcasters award. In October 2005 Cheryl became Host/Producer for the launch of APTN National News: Daytime. Since then she has been Host/Producer for Contact, APTN Investigates, APTN National News and APTN InFocus.

Francine Compton

Executive Producer

Ottawa Bureau

Twitter: @FrancineCompton

Francine joined APTN full-time in February, 2000 and is now the Executive Producer of APTN National News in the East, aptnnews.ca and APTN’s political show Nation to Nation. She is a member of the Sandy Bay First Nation in Manitoba.

Mark Solnoky

Executive Producer

Vancouver Bureau

Twitter: @solnokynorth

Executive Producer for the West and North, Mark has been in News and Current Affairs for over 20 years. He has won dozens of national and international awards and edited shows such a Man Alive, the Fifth Estate and CBC Disclosure.

Charmaine Straker

Producer InFocus

Winnipeg Bureau

Twitter: @Cpstraker

Charmaine is originally from Northern Manitoba.  Before coming to APTN National News and working as an Associate Director in 2009, she had worked as a camera/editor at Global TV and CTV.

Karyn Pugliese

Executive Director of News and Current Affairs

Winnipeg Bureau

Twitter: @Karyn_Pugliese

Ms. Pugliese joined APTN as the Director of News and Current Affairs in July 2012 and was promoted to Executive Director of News and Current Affairs in June 2014. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the broadcast and communications industries to the network. Ms. Pugliese also has years of experience investigating and reporting controversial and hard-hitting stories which have garnered national attention. Her stories have won Native American Journalism Awards and she was also nominated for a Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Gold Ribbon Award.