Season 9 - InFocus | Podcast - APTN NewsAPTN News


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 Nine

A look at the national chief election and the future of the AFN

InFocus is in Vancouver for the Assembly of First Nations election of national chief. Host Dennis Ward invited members of the AFN’s Youth Council to the desk to talk about the future of the First Nation lobby group.

Dennis was also joined by Laughing Drum Host Tim Fontaine, and Ryerson professor and commentator Pam Palmater about whether change is just around the corner at the AFN.

Originally aired July 25, 2018

Season finale: Trans Mountain, MMIWG Inquiry & AFN are put InFocus

It’s shaping up to be a busy summer. The fate of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline. A request for an extension of the MMIWG National Inquiry. Will Perry Bellegarde hang on as National Chief in the upcoming AFN election?

Host Dennis Ward is joined by Niigaan Sinclair, Cheryl Maloney, and Tim Fontaine to look ahead to some of the big issues.

Originally aired May 30, 2018

Relevancy of AFN and election of National Chief put InFocus

In July, Chiefs will vote for a National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Candidates are already stepping forward to challenge Perry Bellegarde who will be seeking another term. But is the AFN still relevant?

Some of the candidates for National Chief and critics of the political body will join us to put the AFN InFocus.

Originally aired May 23, 2018

Missing youth falling victim to exploitation

In the city of Winnipeg, the number of missing person incidents has been rising in recent years. In 2017, there was nearly 11,000 incidents of missing persons reported. Many of those missing person cases are running away from Child and Family Services facilities according to the Winnipeg Police Service.

In this episode of InFocus, host Dennis Ward sits down with experts to discuss how to keep kids safe.

Originally aired May 16, 2018

Mounting opposition to proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Kinder Morgan was under fire from major shareholders calling for more transparency and better environmental practices.

The leader of Tiny House Warriors, Kanahus Manuel,’s Clayton Thomas Muller and Stephen Buffalo of the Indian Resource Council join host Dennis Ward to discuss the pros and cons of the proposed expansion.

Originally aired May 9, 2018

First Nation wants to become ‘Tim Hortons of Cannabis’

On this episode, we put the pending legalization of recreational cannabis InFocus with Sinclair, Indigenous Roots Vice President Michael Fontaine, Mohawk cannabis and sovereignty advocate, Clifton Nicolas and APTN Investigates reporter Melissa Ridgen, whose documentary “Legal Weed” debuts on March 23, 2018.

Originally aired March 21, 2018

Justice for Colten Boushie, MMIWG inquiry extension and Thunder Bay police

The decision by the Saskatchewan Crown attorney not to appeal the acquittal of Gerald Stanley, policing in Thunder Bay and a possible extension for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls were all up for discussion on this episode of InFocus.

Originally aired March 14, 2018

Standing Rock: One year later

The #NoDAPL movement has now spread to fight other pipeline projects like Enbridge’s Line 3 and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion.

Iron Eyes, a former United States Congressional candidate, award winning journalist Jenni Monet and Indigenous activist Clayton Thomas Muller join host Dennis Ward on InFocus to discuss the legacy of the movement and the gathering in Standing Rock, one year after the camps were closed by law enforcement.

Originally aired March 7, 2018

Tina Fontaine: The life and the legacy

The acquittal of Raymond Cormier is still fresh in the minds of many who were hoping for justice for Tina Fontaine and there are still a lot of questions on what will happen next.

We put the Raymond Cormier trial and legacy of Tina Fontaine InFocus with Manitoba MLA Bernadette Smith, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Sheila North and advocate and activist Pam Palmater.

Originally aired February 28, 2018

Alanis Obomsawin: 50 years of creating documentaries – with no end in sight

Award winning filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin joins host Dennis Ward on this episode of InFocus to speak at depth of her beginnings, her career and why she isn’t stopping anytime soon.

Originally aired February 21, 2018

‘Watershed moment for the country’: Examining the Gerald Stanley verdict

After the verdict of the Gerald Stanley trial and the rallies that followed across the country, Dennis Ward is joined by activist Erica Violet Lee and columnist Doug Cuthand.

Also the Chair of Indigenous studies at the University of Winnipeg Jacquline Romanow and a founder of the Facebook page “Farmers with Firearms” join the discussion to put the trial and rural racism InFocus.

Originally aired February 14, 2018

InFocus examines those left out of the proposed ‘60s Scoop settlement

It’s a proposed $800-million dollar settlement for Indigenous children who were ripped from their homes and families during the 60s Scoop. But the Metis and non-status were left out of the agreement and many survivors are not happy with the proposed settlement.

Doucette, his daughter Kyra Wilson and Duane Morrisseau-Beck of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network share their experiences and concerns of the proposed compensation package as we put the Metis 60s Scoop InFocus.

Originally aired February 7, 2018

Impacting our Indigenous youth, one sport at a time

With sports fans all over the world gearing up for the 2018 winter Olympics, InFocus had the conversation about Indigenous in sport.

Our guest host Bruce Spence spoke with our guests Philip Paul-Martin of Native Hockey News, Trevor Phillips of the University of Manitoba and Tara Garrioch, sister to women’s hockey player Brigette Lacquette.

Originally aired January 31, 2018

On eve of emergency meeting everyone agrees child welfare system is in crisis

It’s a humanitarian crisis. That’s the focus of a two-day ‘emergency meeting’ on child welfare in Ottawa happening Thursday and Friday.

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott, children’s advocate Cindy Blackstock, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Family Advocate Cora Morgan, Southern Chiefs Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak President, Melanie Omeniho, and grandmother Chickadee Richard join host Dennis Ward live in Ottawa to put the child welfare system In Focus.

Originally aired January 24, 2018

Looking back on 2017: An inquiry ‘dead in the water’ and ‘blatant racism’ from a sitting senator

Should the MMIWG Inquiry be granted an extension? Is Lynn Beyak a racist? Is the AFN relevant?

Pam Palmater, Niigaan Sinclair and Tim Fontaine weigh in on these issues and more as we put 2017 In Focus and look ahead to 2018.

Originally aired January 17, 2018

Don Amero: Sharing his love of music and his love for the holiday season

Award-winning singer-songwriter, Don Amero performs on APTN InFocus and shared his love of music and his love for the holiday season.

In this show, you’ll hear some of Don’s favorite songs and the meanings behind them. And perhaps get into the holiday spirit, just a little bit more.

Originally aired December 13, 2017

Hirings, firings and delays: A look behind the National Inquiry into MMIWG

It’s been over a year since the National Inquiry into MMIWG began its mandate, but it hasn’t come without much criticism and controversy.

In this episode of InFocus, we talk about some of those issues such as how many staff have left or been let go, the lack of after-care for families testifying and the anticipation to a request for an extension.

Originally aired December 6, 2017

Deaths, drugs and gangs: Putting Thunder Bay’s problems into perspective

The troubles in Thunder Bay have people living on the edge. On this episode of InFocus, we put those problems into perspective as APTN reporter Willow Fiddler digs deeper into what’s happening.

APTN’s Dennis Ward also shares his experience as a reporter in Thunder Bay. Also James Favel, Executive Director at Bear Clan, spoke about how the 900-volunteer-member strong organization patrols streets.

Originally aired November 29, 2017

They fought and they won. Now, they are getting their apology.

On Friday, November 24th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be apologising to former residential school students in Newfoundland and Labrador. They were excluded from the 2008 apology. What did it take? A class action lawsuit and a recommendation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

In this episode of InFocus, we give you perspective from residential school survivors from Labrador and across the country.

Originally aired November 22, 2017

Bringing an end to sex discrimination

In this episode we put Bill S-3 In Focus. That’s the legislation currently in front of the Senate that, if passed, will end sex discrimination in the Indian Act. Its aim is to restore full legal status to First Nations women and their children who were not eligible before.

Todd Lamirande, Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell, Chief Rick O’Bomsawin and Donna Partridge joined us to discuss the impact of Bill S-3. It’s a discussion not going away anytime soon, and it’s a discussion worthy of continuing.

Originally aired November 15, 2017

Aboriginal Veterans Day: Honoring the thousands who are under recognized

November 8th is Aboriginal Veterans Day. A day to honor and remember the contributions Indigenous people made for our country in times of war and peacekeeping. Veteran Affairs Canada says more than 7000 First Nations members served in the First and Second World Wars, including the Korean War.

In this episode of InFocus, three veterans share their experience. Bill Shead, Devin Beaudry and Denis Lamirande. Join us as we honor the thousands of Indigenous veterans who defended Canada.

Originally aired November 8, 2017

The dark past and injustices of tuberculosis sanatoria in Canada

Tuberculosis was a highly contagious and often fatal lung disease. Before a vaccination was found, patients were put on long periods of bed rest, given a nourishing diet and hours of fresh air… But a lot more than that happened them.

In this episode we take a look at sanatoriums where Indigenous people were sent for treatment of TB. Holly Moore, Gerald McIvor and Ian Mosby give us their perspectives.

Originally aired November 1, 2017

Getting perspective on the Nunavut election and what’s at stake

October 30th Nunavut holds their fifth general election, since the territory was created in 1999.

Kent Driscoll, Jim Bell, Lindsey Qanguk and Helen Navalik Tologanak look at the many different difficulties affecting Nunavut and what they hope the next elected government will achieve.

Originally aired October 25, 2017

The 60s Scoop settlement and the issues behind it

Canada is offering a compensation worth $800 million dollars, for status Indians. This Agreement-In-Principal excludes non-status and Metis.

Coleen Rajotte and Marlene Orgeron, adoptees, along with Garth Myers, lawyer at Koskie Minski LLP join the discussion and shed some light on the controversy behind the 60s Scoop settlement.

Originally aired October 18, 2017

Bringing attention to Canada’s secret shame: Human Trafficking

There is a crime robbing victims of their most basic human right, and it’s happening right here in our country, mostly towards our Indigenous women and girls: Human trafficking.

Joy Smith, founder of the Joy Smith Foundation and Alaya McIvor, a survivor from human trafficking share their voices on the issue. Marly Day also joins the discussion, she is one of the founders of a grandmother’s group in Sault Ste. Marie that raises awareness about human trafficking.

Originally aired October 11, 2017

A look at what needs to change: The National Inquiry into MMIWG and Thunder Bay

Gladys Radek and Bernie Williams, co-founders of the ‘Walk 4 Justice’ movement, along with Tim Fontaine, a Winnipeg-based journalist and Kathleen Martens, a reporter at APTN, share their perspectives on the National Inquiry into MMIWG.

We also discuss the recent incidents and tragedies in Thunder Bay among Indigenous youth. Video journalist Willow Fiddler talks about what she’s been following.

Originally aired October 4, 2017