A Retrospective - APTN NewsAPTN News

A Retrospective

APTN Investigates marks its 10th season with a special half hour edition of highlights from the first nine seasons. Every Sunday, APTN Investigates: A Retrospective will feature one of the show’s many award winning investigative episodes.

Hosted by the program’s creator, Executive Producer Paul Barnsley, it’s a chance to see again the stories that made the program’s reputation.

Follow-up One-on-One Interviews
Each week APTN Investigates: A Retrospective will feature additional one-on-one interviews with the people who created the show, who made their contributions and moved on, and those who continue the work today. APTN Executive News Director, Karyn Pugliese, asks the questions. Watch the Retrospective follow-up interviews on YouTube by clicking the links below or listen and subscribe to the APTN Investigates’ audio podcast.

Episode Guide

OCT 7, 2018: HAIRCUT
Hair. It has great significance for Indigenous people, especially for men. So why did a school employee feel it was their right to cut the hair of a young pow wow dancer? Cheryl Mackenzie reports from Thunder Bay in 2009.

Retrospective: The story that saved lives. Award-winning Cheryl McKenzie, known as the face of APTN for more than a decade speaks about the her career, a breakthrough story that saved dozens of lives, and the of launch Investigative journalism by Indigenous peoples – a first in the world.

An American businessman was giving away free laptop computers on the Blood Reserve in southern Alberta. The band council was working with him. However, there was one big catch. In 2014, Paul Barnsley followed the paper trail and stopped a big con.

Retrospective: Through the Looking Glass. For a long time Paul Barnsley was the only investigative journalist on the Native beat, and today he remains one of the most respected journalists among Indigenous people in Canada. In Through the Looking Glass he talks about his career and offers wisdom from his own experience to non-Aboriginal reporters breaking in on the beat.

For more than a decade, the Metis have been trying to solve the mystery of what happened to the Bell of Batoche. Some say it’s lost forever. Others say they may know who has it. Todd Lamirande broke this story in 2009.

Retrospective: “I didn’t think that could happen in Canada.” Todd Lamirande had been at APTN for only a year when he transferred to BC to open the Vancouver bureau – located in his one bedroom apartment. Shortly thereafter, the police illegally seized his car and his tapes. It was a precarious start, but so began an 18-year career at APTN, and Lamirande – who never wanted to work in television –began his ascent, becoming one of the best known on air personalities at APTN. Lamirande also tells how he unravelled the mystery behind the missing Bell of Batoche. Or did he?

OCT 28, 2018: CARSON
He was a former senior advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He knew the ins and outs of the federal government machine. In addition, he knew where he could get his hands on more than $300 million that was intended to provide clean drinking water for First Nation communities. When Kenneth Jackson and Jorge Barrera discovered how Bruce Carson planned to get that cash and what he intended to do with it, APTN Investigates had 2011’s news story of the year.

Retrospective: A shoebox full of documents sealed with duct tape. Kenneth Jackson, a former Ottawa Sun crime reporter trying his hand as a freelancer, got the box. In it were documents with politicians’ names, someone who had a personal connection to the prime minister and a mass of information about First Nations water. Jackson put the box in the trunk of his car and drove to the Ottawa home of his best friend, a reporter named Jorge Barrera who had been working at APTN as a web reporter. That launched one of the most widely reported investigations into a Canadian political scandal. Spoiler alert: Kenneth got a job at APTN.

Several Manitoba First Nations were flooded out by the provincial governments in 2011. They were moved to hotels in Winnipeg. They were put under the care of the Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters or MANFF. That organization was shut down amidst allegations of money mismanagement and corruptions. Seven years later, some evacuees are still not back home. Melissa Ridgen looked into things in Season 5.

Retrospective: Single Moms, Lies and Videotape. It became clear early on at APTN that the majority of reporters it was hiring were single moms. Melissa Ridgen talks about balancing motherhood and journalism. As well this episode dives into Ridgen’s investigation into the scandal surrounding the Manitoba Association Of Native Firefighters’ (MANFF’s) apparent disregard for its duty to care for flood victims, not to mention taxpayer dollars. We talk about why it’s important to investigate these stories, despite the fear that it may perpetuate a stereotype.

What would you do if your drinking water was being contaminated? Would you fight it? Three women from the Blood Tribe found themselves in handcuffs for wanting answers from an oil company. Francine Compton has the full story from Season Four.

Retrospective: Child labour in the newsroom. Francine Compton’s father made her transcribe interviews as a child, then encouraged her to study broadcast, telling her one day Indigenous people would have their own TV network. She was still a teenager when she was put in charge of APTN’s studio crew. She’s since worked as a reporter, producer and is now part of APTN’s management team. We talk about this plus her Investigates story on fracking, before fracking was a thing.

To date more that 500 Indigenous women have been found dead or reported missing. This alarming number is on the rise. Yet somehow, these women continue to fall through the cracks in Canadian society. Tina House explains. It’s a 2010 story that could be told today

Residential schools are one of the darkest chapters in Canadian history – especially for those who lived through it.  Can money buy back years of emotional damage?  Kathleen Martens looks at the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) in 2012.

As new designer drugs start being introduced on the city streets, more dangers start to arise.  However, how long will it be before it is introduced to Indigenous communities?  One Mi’kmaq community fights to keep it out. Melissa Ridgen has more from 2012.

A discovery, which was believed to be human remains, near a former residential school has stirred up many questions.  Are they from a child? How many more are there?  Todd Lamirande tells us what the experts uncovered. This was a Todd Lamirande investigation from 2012.