Season 10 - InFocus | Podcast - APTN NewsAPTN News

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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 Ten


Indigenous people need to rock the vote again in 2019

Indigenous voters showed up in record numbers in 2015, with several First Nations communities even running out of ballots temporarily.

The result — a record 10 Indigenous MPs elected to the House of Commons –or three per cent of the 338 seats, which is proportional to the number of Indigenous adults who live in Canada.

In our season finale, we put democracy InFocus.

Originally aired May 29, 2019


RCMP interrogation and child apprehension in Canada

On this episode of InFocus we discuss child apprehension and the video of an RCMP officer interviewing an Indigenous teen after she reported a sexual assault.

Originally aired May 22, 2019


Nazi flag flap highlights Saskatchewan’s race problem

On this episode of InFocus we discuss the Nazi flag flap that drew the world’s eye to Saskatchewan, the boom you might not know about in Indigenous business in Canada and a province struggling with one of the highest HIV rates in North America.

Originally aired May 15, 2019


Serial killers hunting large swaths of Canada: criminologist

On this episode of InFocus: From the west coast to the Golden Horseshoe surrounding Toronto, there is evidence to suggest serial killers are hunting and disproportionately, Indigenous women and girls are their prey.

And those serial killers likely number far more than the average person imagines.

That’s according to Michael Arntfield, a Western University criminologist and serial killer expert who studies murder patterns for the Murder Accountability Project in the U.S.

Originally aired May 1, 2019


Flood evacuees for eight years, Little Saskatchewan residents finally have a place to go home to

Every year, many communities across Turtle Island near rivers and lakes brace for the possibility of a spring flood.

Often, traditional lands have become flood-prone from man-made dams or diversions or communities were moved onto flood plains by the Canadian government.

For Little Saskatchewan First Nation on Lake St. Martin, 255 kilometres north of Winnipeg, it’s meant 20 plus years of being prepared for massive spring flooding.

In this episode, we put flooded reserves InFocus.

Originally aired April 24, 2019


Re-direct money from Indigenous affairs departments: researcher

An average family of five people who have status cards could be more than $20,000 richer each year if treaty annuity payments were based on today’s land values.
Currently, treaty people with status cards get $5 a year based on land values from the 1800s – that’s $20 if you’re a family of five.

That and more on this episode of InFocus.

Originally aired April 17, 2019


Decades of promises, but little action as mercury still takes lives in Grassy Narrows

Some 900 people live in Grassy Narrows and health official say 90 per cent have signs of mercury poisoning, which include vision and hearing impairment, tremors, and decreased cognitive function.

That and more on this episode of APTN InFocus.

Originally aired April 3, 2019


Justice system an ‘industry’ profiting off Indigenous offenders and victims

In this episode of InFocus: Less than five per cent of the population in Canada is Indigenous, yet Indigenous men make up 28 per cent of those behind bar, Indigenous women 43 per cent and Indigenous youth 46 per cent.

And while incarceration rates are on the decline for the general population, they’re trending upwards for Indigenous people.

Originally aired March 27, 2019


Feds can’t solve Indigenous issues on its own says Clint Davis

In this episode of InFocus: Clint Davis, the chair of the Labrador Capital Strategy Trust (LCST) says the issues facing Indigenous communities run so deep Ottawa alone will not be able to solve them. Davis says private investment will be needed too, if the economic outlook for Indigenous people is going to change.

But not everyone agreed with Davis who joined analyst Pam Palmater, Joseph Quesnel on InFocus to talk about the federal budget that was delivered Tuesday in Ottawa.

Originally aired March 20, 2019


Returning Indigenous artifacts part of reconciliation but still a struggle

In this episode of InFocus: The phenomenon of hoarding skeletal remains and cultural artifacts of Inuit, Metis and First Nations by private collectors and institutions, flies in the face of reconciliation, say Indigenous leaders.

Many of the items are stolen from graves and sacred sites. Others are found when land is disturbed during construction or other work being done.

Originally aired March 13, 2019


Jody Wilson-Raybould ‘thrown under the bus’ to save corporate and political elites: Bill Wilson

It’s a scandal that has rocked the Liberal government for the past month.

Canada’s first Indigenous attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould quit cabinet over what she says was pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to do favors for SNC-Lavalin, an engineering giant based in vote-rich Quebec that is facing bribery, fraud and corruption charges.

In this episode we put Jody Wilson-Raybould and the SNC-Lavalin scandal InFocus.

Originally aired March 6, 2019


Questioning the usefulness of land acknowledgements

Land acknowledgements have been growing in popularity in the past 10 years to the point they’re now at most events or gatherings.

But while they’re common, some question if they’re useful in reconciliation or simply superficial platitudes meant to give the illusion of honour and respect for Indigenous land and nations. That’s on this episode of InFocus.

Originally aired February 27, 2019


Food sovereignty is not just about rights, but better physical health and emotional well-being

With hunting and harvesting rights being attacked, and the cost of food going up, how are First Nation, Metis and Inuit people supposed to get back to traditional eating, or make healthy food choices on a tight budget?

In this episode of InFocus with Host Melissa Ridgen, we looked at the move towards country food including plants and animals consumed in a region by the people Indigenous to it.

Originally aired February 20, 2019


Cat Lake First Nation tries to get federal attention by declaring state of emergency based on Jordan’s Principle

From mould to overcrowding, we’re putting the housing crisis on First Nations InFocus.

Cat Lake First Nation in northern Ontario has declared a state of emergency related to Jordan’s Principle due to mold in most homes in the community.

According to officials in the community, three children have been medevacked out of the community over the past two weeks because of illnesses.

Originally aired February 13, 2019


CFS agencies need to focus more on keeping families says former case worker

This episode of InFocus was the last in a three-part series putting the child welfare system under the microscope.

Natasha Reimer spent her entire life bounced from foster home to foster home when she was apprehended as a young girl from an unsafe home.

While the system kept her separated from a mother who couldn’t parent, it also robbed her of a relationship with her seven younger siblings, who were also raised in care.

Originally aired February 6, 2019


A mother shares her experience with the child welfare system on InFocus

On the second edition of a three-part series about child and family services (CFS) on InFocus, Host Melissa Ridgen talks with parents who found themselves targets of CFS agencies and how they beat or continue to fight they system.

Stacy Owl lost her five children two years ago on the word of a tipster whom she had never met.

A woman had called CFS accusing Owl of being a “crackhead” and running a meth lab.

Originally aired January 30, 2019


Inside the CFS system on InFocus

High apprehension rate makes families distrust child and family services (CFS) agencies.

On this first of a three-part series on CFS, Host Melissa Ridgen talked to a child advocate and a former CFS worker who shed light on how this industry works and why Indigenous families are targeted.

Originally aired January 23, 2019


Indigenous satire helps deal with harsh realities

Indigenous people live with a lot of harsh realities – poverty, inter-generational trauma, murdered and missing loved ones, suicide, racism, displacement, cultural loss. Satire can be a distraction and sometimes poking a serious issue with a funny stick, can raise awareness, start a conversation or make an important point.

On this edition of InFocus, Host Melissa Ridgen explores Indigenous humour – how humour and satire help people deal with serious issues, and is our humor different from others?

Originally aired January 16, 2019


InFocus talks drag, Two Spirit and all things fabulous

Two spirit people have been a part of Indigenous culture long before settlers arrived in North America. Colonization brought many things with it, including a different foreign perspective on gender and sexuality.

On this addition of InFocus, Host Melissa Ridgen chatted with drag queens – the Queen of the Oil Patch and the Master of the Jig – all of whom shared what it’s like for them to be two spirited.

Originally aired January 9, 2019


Behind the scenes of APTN Investigates

Have you ever wondered how an investigative news story comes together? How journalists get to the bottom of complex topics?

On this addition of APTN’s InFocus, host Melissa Ridgen sits down with the APTN Investigates team to discuss some of their favorite moments and the work behind the camera that audiences don’t get to see.

Originally aired January 2, 2019


‘E for effort’: Grading Canada’s path to reconciliation

On this year’s final addition of InFocus, Host Melissa Ridgen took a hard look at how 2018 was in terms of reconciliation.

What were the steps forward, and backward, this year? Was there meaningful effort or just talking points and empty gestures?

Originally aired December 19, 2018


What are they teaching our kids?

This week on InFocus, Host Melissa Ridgen takes a closer look at what we’re teaching our kids in school.

Are children — Indigenous and non-Indigenous — getting enough Indigenous content in the classroom?

Originally aired December 12, 2018


‘Nothing short of a nightmare’: The Indigenous experience on campus

On this edition to APTN’s InFocus, host Melissa Ridgen looks at Indigenous experiences on campus, from the perspective of educators and students.

There’s no shortage of stories in the news or social media of incidents like the ‘Its okay to be white’ posters that were posted at the University of Manitoba, and left many Indigenous students feeling unsafe.

Originally aired December 5, 2018


‘Bringing us back to tradition and spirit’: A look at Indigenous Sport

In this episode, Melissa Ridgen put Indigenous athletes and sport InFocus.

She spoke with Olympic hopeful James Lavallee. The Red River Métis kayaker was named 2017s Male Indigenous Athlete of the year in Canada and won three medals at the 2017 Canada Summer games.

Along with Buffy Handel, founder of the Aboriginal School of Dance has blended dance and fitness to stay in shape and help others reach their fitness goals.

Originally aired November 28, 2018


Putting the Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework InFocus

It’s an issue that has taken up its fair share of the media spotlight over the past few months – but do people understand what the Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework actually is?

InFocus Host Melissa Ridgen navigates through this proposed federal legislation that the Liberal government has been working on since February 14, 2018.

Originally aired November 21, 2018


Shopping while brown: InFocus tackles racial profiling

Racial profiling can come in many forms. Have you ever been followed by store staff while shopping? Do you seem to get served differently in restaurants or in stores? Does it happen regularly? Has you changed the way you act in stores because of this?

If you said you yes, you may be the victim of racial profiling. In this episode, Host Melissa Ridgen puts Shopping While Brown InFocus.

Originally aired November 14, 2018


Tougher rules needed for healing lodges, Tori Stafford’s dad tells APTN InFocus

There has been a lot of talk about healing lodges after Tori Stafford’s killer was transferred to one from a traditional prison.

Moving Terry-Lynne McClintic, 28, to the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Saskatchewan from Grand Valley outraged many Canadians.

In this episode Marlene Orr, Matt Willan and Tori’s father, Rodney put healing lodges InFocus.

Originally aired November 7, 2018


Hosts of The Other Side bring their paranormal activity to the set of InFocus

The hosts of the APTN show The Other Side join InFocus host Melissa Ridgen for a ghostly hour of paranormal activity on the Halloween edition of InFocus.

The Other Side is a paranormal investigative show that airs on APTN each week, investigating paranormal activity in a variety of locations across the country.

Two ghost chasers, Jeff Richards and Tom Charles, tell stories of haunted hotels, family homes and abandoned buildings and where encounters include physical contact and meeting with loved ones.

Originally aired October 31, 2018


Métis, who are they?

Host Melissa Ridgen and her guests dig deep into the discussion about what makes the Métis, Métis.

Some say it’s simply the children of Indigenous and European parents. But can it be anyone who has Indigenous ancestors in their bloodline?

Groups in Eastern Canada say that having an Indigenous ancestor in your history, even hundreds of years ago, makes a person Métis.

Originally aired October 24, 2018


Legal Weed goes on sale across Canada

After years of criminalization, the Canadian government has made it legal to purchase and smoke cannabis.

And many First Nations are getting in on the industry on the ground floor.

In this episode Host Melissa Ridgen cuts through the haze and puts cannabis legalization InFocus.

Originally aired October 17, 2018


Breaking through the stereotypes immigrants are learning about Indigenous peoples

Starting over in a new country is stressful. There’s a lot to learn.

But what happens when you hear inaccurate information? How do you know what is true and what is false?

In this episode, we put new Canadians’ misconceptions and stereotypes of Indigenous people InFocus and explore initiatives that are setting the record straight.

Originally aired October 10, 2018


Youth leaders discuss concerns and what we can do better

What is important to youth today?

On the InFocus season premiere with host Melissa Ridgen, we talk to youth leaders to find out the issues that affect youth most and the possible solutions.

Originally aired October 3, 2018


First Contact participants reunite to speak about their 28 day journey

In this special edition of InFocus all six participants of the series, First Contact, join host Melissa Ridgen to share their thoughts on the 28 day journey that took them to Indigenous communities across Canada.

Their experiences confronted and challenged their perceptions about Indigenous Peoples.

Originally aired September 13, 2018


Community hosts and producers share insight into First Contact

In this special edition of InFocus with host Melissa Ridgen, we hear the perspectives of community hosts and producers of the three part series, First Contact.

The show features six non-Indigenous Canadians with negative stereotypical views of Indigenous Peoples in Canada who are taken on a 28 day journey.

Originally aired September 12, 2018