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InFocus advances the latest news stories and puts them into perspective. Join host Melissa Ridgen as she puts the news, viewers want to see “in focus”, providing in-depth analysis to give the ‘story behind the story’. Informational and educational, InFocus provides a detailed examination of the issues affecting our communities.


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Season Eleven


Breaking The Base: Reporter shares how he infiltrated a hate group

It’s a news story that’s fit for a Hollywood screenplay.

A local news reporter infiltrates a hate group, finds at least one of the recruiters is a military reservist and shortly after he blows the lid off the story. Then the reservist vanishes only to surface five months later south of the border, caught up in an FBI sting involving a terrorist cell that’s plotting a violent white revolution.

Ryan Thorpe is the Winnipeg Free Press reporter who broke the story Homegrown Hate back in June 2019.

Originally aired February 19, 2020


Who is eligible to be registered in your band and who gets do decide?

The question of who is eligible to be registered in a band – and who makes that decision is the focus of a short APTN News Perspectives series.

Correspondent Tamara Pimentel spoke to families who have children that are not included on a band’s roll for one reason or another.

There are other families who are having trouble registering their child with their bands.

Tamara shares the stories of two same sex couples who cannot get their kids registered.

Originally aired February 12, 2020


What you need to know about submitting a claim for the day school settlement

After more than a decade of waiting after the residential school survivors were compensated for being forced into compensation, many Indian day school survivors can now apply for compensation.

But Ottawa has deemed only half – about 700 schools – are eligible.

The other half – some 680 schools, sanatoriums and other facilities – they said, weren’t entirely run or funded by the Government of Canada and are excluded from the settlement.

APTN InFocus sorted through what this all means.

Originally aired February 5, 2020


Metis Infighting and over-representation of Indigenous people in prisons

During the past month, there has been a volley of shots fired back and forth between the Metis National Council and the presidents of the Metis Nation of Ontario, Metis Nation of Alberta, and Metis Nation-Saskatchewan.

Also: The “historic new highs” of Indigenous people incarcerated in Canada’s prison system comes as no surprise to Indigenous people or those who have been paying attention to the issue.

Originally aired January 29, 2020


The Legacy of Idle No More put InFocus

It was a movement like no other.

Idle No More, it would be called, was a leaderless groundswell of opposition that some say had been simmering for a while when it finally came to a boil.

In a sweeping, two-part documentary, producers, directors Tim Fontaine and Rick Harp look back on the movement; what triggered it, how it grew through social media, how it galvanized unrest, what effect it had on non-Indigenous onlookers and mainstream media, and what its legacy will be.

Originally aired January 22, 2020


What are the lessons learned from the devastating fires in Australia?

In this episode of APTN InFocus: An Indigenous fire management expert is teaching traditional forest management practices to hopefully prevent a disaster like the Australia from happening here.

And Dakota Elder and Sundance Chief Wanbdi Wakita talks about the warnings this world has ignored, but what we can do now to learn from the fires devastating Australia.

Also, we’ll discuss the second edition of Rogers Hometown Hockey in Cree on APTN.

Originally aired January 15, 2020


Lateral violence a ‘colonial hangover’ we need to heal: prof

Lateral violence is violence and bullying directed against one’s own people or peer group and is prevalent in First Nation, Inuit and Metis communities. In this episode of APTN InFocus, we discuss why it happens and what we can do to stop it.

In 1939, the Manitoba government and RM burned down the Metis community of Ste. Madeleine to make room for settler’s cattle to graze. In this episode, we meet descendants of this tragic history.

Originally aired January 8, 2020


Sagkeeng beader sees ‘her babies’ around Whoopi Goldberg’s neck on TV

Sagkeeng First Nation beader Mish Daniels saw “her babies” make a TV appearance in front of millions who watch the U.S. morning talk show The View.

Host and actor Whoopi Goldberg was wearing a red beaded jingle dress medallion on Monday’s show. She’d been gifted it during a chance run-in with MMIW advocate Connie Greyeyes.

Goldberg reportedly kept staring at Greyeyes’ medallion, which she bought from Daniels.

That and more in this episode of APTN InFocus.

Originally aired December 18, 2019


Child welfare apprehensions, birth alerts on the decline: Manitoba Families

In this episode of APTN InFocus: The province of Manitoba which has the highest rate of kids in foster care says it’s slowly changing the way the embattled system works.

According to the province, there has been a 35 per cent reduction in birth alerts issued for moms and their newborns and an 18 per cent overall reduction in the number of child apprehensions compared to 2018.

Manitoba typically has 10,000 to 11,000 kids in foster care in any given year – 90 per cent are Indigenous.

Originally aired December 11, 2019


Coping with the climate crisis: putting global health InFocus

There’s been a shift in language from global warming to climate change to climate crisis – the words people are using to talk about how humans are impacting the health of the planet have become more urgent.

While there was a back and forth with the science for decades, scientists are almost unanimous now in saying climate trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.

That and more on this episode of APTN InFocus.

Originally aired December 4, 2019


Indigenous music industry booming, study confirms

There’s little shock that Indigenous musicians are on the rise in number, reach and influence, but even long-time industry insiders had a bit of a jaw-drop when a new study revealed just how much the industry is contributing to Canada’s economy each year.

The National Indigenous Music Impact Study is the first of its kind, and was undertaken by APTN.

That and more on this episode of APTN InFocus.

Originally aired November 27, 2019


Reporting on our people: a media check-up is put InFocus

Substandard media coverage of Indigenous people or issues has been well-documented and criticized over the years but in this era of reconciliation, has it improved?

That’s the topic of this episode of APTN InFocus.

Originally aired November 20, 2019


School survivors left out of federal settlement gear up for class-action suit

Canada has apologized to and compensated residential school survivors, and years later offered to settle with day school survivors, but thousands of former students remain excluded from both despite Canada’s insistence that it’s committed to truth and reconciliation.

On this episode of APTN InFocus, we talk to residential school survivors and their thoughts on the federal settlement.

Originally aired November 13, 2019


Punking non-Indigenous communities with pipeline prank

Pipelines can be a boring and predictable back-and-forth between corporate interests and the activists that oppose them.

But what happens when the issue is tackled using elaborate pranks and hoaxes on non-Indigenous people?

That’s the tack of the satirical Indigenous Pipeline Council, whose members were guests on this episode of InFocus.

Originally aired November 6, 2019


Tricksters, shapeshifters, star people and other Indigenous legends

It’s the time of year we all love a good scare and there is no shortage of legends in our communities that’ll do just that.

We’re talking about little people — tiny pranksters who’ve inspired stories for millennia across Turtle Island.

Sasquatch — the large hairy primitive-man-like forest and mountain dweller.

Qalupalik — sea witches who steal children who get too close to Arctic waters.

As well as the warning – never whistle or sing under the northern lights.

Originally aired October 30, 2019


First order of business for 25-year-old Nunavut MP: ‘the very basics’

Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, 25, is Nunavut’s new member of Parliament.

She won for the New Democrats – the first time that party has won the seat since Nunavut became a territory 20 years ago.

Qaqqaq has worked various government jobs in the territory including as an employment adviser and wellness specialist, but she’s also a well-known activist and public speaker.

That and more on this episode of APTN InFocus.

Originally aired October 23, 2019


Housing crisis not fixable under current model, but can be made worse with bad government

It’s a problem that doesn’t go away, government after government, generation after generation. There’s a housing crisis affecting too many First Nations and the problem exists off-reserve too.

On this episode, we’re putting Housing Crunch InFocus.

Is the problem getting worse? Getting better?

Originally aired October 16, 2019


Devastated parents say incentivized apprehensions need to stop in Manitoba

On the season premiere of APTN InFocus: A Brandon Manitoba family, who is in a bitter battle with Michif CFS over their five-month-old infant son, says the system is unfairly rigged against families who are forced to comply with unreasonable demands like unwarranted supervised visits.

They say if you try to fight back, you risk losing your child for good to the system.

There are 11,000 kids in care in Manitoba.

Their baby is one.

Originally aired October 9, 2019