As part of the public broadcaster’s ongoing commitment to reflect Indigenous communities across Canada, CBC is recognizing National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day with a broadcast, streaming and audio lineup of original and special programming that showcases First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and experiences. This meaningful spotlight on Indigenous storytelling comes as CBC/Radio-Canada prepares to release its anticipated National Indigenous Strategy, informed by engagement sessions with Indigenous Peoples across Canada about how CBC/Radio-Canada can better represent and reflect their diverse cultures, interests and needs.
National Indigenous History Month honours the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is also an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the strength of present-day Indigenous communities by sharing stories from an Indigenous point of view, told by Indigenous-led creative teams. CBC aims to foreground diverse Indigenous voices year-round, offering national audiences authentic and engaging storytelling that can’t be found anywhere else, and nurturing new Indigenous creators and aspiring journalists through development programs that offer participants valuable hands-on experience and coaching support.
A selection of CBC’s broad range of programming this month is highlighted below:
Saturday, June 17
- 4.p.m. (4:30 NT), also on Tuesday, June 20 at 1 p.m. (1:30 NT), on CBC Radio and CBC Listen
UNRESERVED asks: National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day of celebration. What exactly are we celebrating? Four friends of UNRESERVED will give some great examples of Indigenous brilliance in art, books, music and film/television. And what’s the best celebration? The one where everyone is invited – which is why we’re also featuring three artists that mash-up traditional Indigenous music or art with artforms that originate outside the Indigenous community.
- 9 p.m. (10 AT, 10:30 NT, 11 PT) on CBC TV and CBC Gem
An award-winning feature film directed by Bretten Hannam, WILDHOOD shares the story of a young man named Link who, upon discovering his Mi’kmaw mother could still be alive, embarks on a quest to find her with his younger half-brother Travis. On the road they meet Pasmay, a powwow dancer drawn to Link. As the boys journey across Mi’kma’ki, Link finds community, identity and love in the land where he belongs. Wildhood was made with the participation of CBC Films.
Wednesday, June 28
- 8 p.m. (8:30 NT)on CBC TV and CBC Gem
This documentary tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. Featuring music icons like Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Randy Castillo, award-winning RUMBLE will show how these talented Indigenous musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.
CELEBRATING INDIGENOUS EXCELLENCE – SUNDAY, JUNE 18
- 7 p.m. (7:30 NT) on CBC TV and CBC Gem
ʔƏM̓I CE:P XʷIWƏL COME TOWARD THE FIRE is an Indigenous-led celebration of creativity, brilliance, culture and community that showcases the voices of artists, speakers and dance groups from Musqueam and Indigenous nations across Turtle Island, captured from the main stage of the Chan Centre ahead of last year’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the2023 INDSPIRE AWARDS is a nationally broadcast celebration of culture showcasing outstanding achievements from Indigenous peoples across the country. Twelve award recipients from a diverse list of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities will be honoured.
- 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC TV and CBC Gem
EAGLE & HAWK TAKE THE STAGE is a documentary that explores the world through
the eyes of one of Canada’s longest-running Indigenous bands.
- 9:30 p.m. (10 NT) on CBC TV and CBC Gem
STILL STANDING “Rankin Inlet, NU”
The economy of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut has seen its ups and downs but the struggles that come with living in this remote and unforgiving landscape remain constant.
NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21
- 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET on CBC News Explore and launching that day on CBC Gem
TIME TO EAT, a new half-hour documentary from CBC Indigenous
What is the thing that connects us all, that gives us good feelings about family and can bring back memories with a simple scent? That bridges gaps, that brings us home, that ties us to our ancestors? It’s food. Recipes handed down from generation to generation are unique to individual families, communities and people. But food can also provide a connection point to others — offering the excitement of learning something new, of being introduced to and experiencing a tradition for the first time, and the act of sharing and being given a gift. TIME TO EAT takes viewers to four different communities — each one with its own delicious tale to tell.
- To celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, CBC Music is presenting a full day of radio programming to highlight the work of Indigenous artists, songwriters and composers. At 4 p.m. local, CBC Music will be rebroadcasting RECLAIMED PRESENTS: ʔƏM̓I CE:P XʷIWƏL COME TOWARD THE FIRE, celebrating Indigenous talent, creativity and brilliance with live music performances taken from the main stage of the Chan Centre ahead of last year’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
- CBC News Network will have coverage of events across the country throughout the day.
- The CBC Kids morning lineup on CBC TV will offer special programming for National Indigenous Peoples Day, including episodes of MOLLY OF DENALI and shorts featuring Indigenous culture and heritage, including new episodes of Come Dance With Me, CBC Kids Book Clubs, and Today’s Thing. Plus, CBC Kids unveils a new segment Campfire Stories which features special guests sharing cultural stories with the Studio K gang around a campfire.
- Northern Ontario’s UP NORTH WITH JONATHAN PINTO has a full afternoon of special programming surrounding the theme of NIPD 2023: Celebrating Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being and Doing. The show will be live from the Fort William First Nation Pow Wow on Anemki Wajiw (Mount McKay) in Thunder Bay between 4-6 p.m ET on June 21. Special on-air guests include Michele Solomon, chief, Fort William First Nation, and Sheila De Corte, spiritual advisor and elder. Available on 88.3 FM in Thunder Bay or 99.9 FM in Sudbury, or via CBC Listen.
CBC TV and CBC Gem will be broadcasting and streaming a selection of Indigenous-led documentaries, films and series throughout the day and late night on June 21, including the following titles:
- 7 p.m. (7:30 NT) – MASHKAWI-MANIDOO BIMAADIZIWIN SPIRIT TO SOAR
In the wake of an inquest into the mysterious deaths of seven First Nations high school students in Thunder Bay, Ont., Anishinaabe journalist Tanya Talaga examines what – if anything – has changed since they died.
- 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – OUR PEOPLE WILL BE HEALED
Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education.
NOW AVAILABLE ON CBC LISTEN, CBC GEM AND CBC.CA
- In the new CBC British Columbia six-part podcast THE URBARIGINAL, Tsimshian author and entertainer Rudy Kelly delves into his father’s legacy and finds himself on a journey of self-discovery. Kelly’s father desired a different life for his youngest son: success in the white world. Torn between two worlds and turned away from his community and culture, Rudy embarks a journey to uncover who his father really was and, along the way, discover more about himself — The Urbariginal.
- Produced by CBC Manitoba, MOTHER. SISTER. DAUGHTER. explores the present-day issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada. To mark the four-year anniversary of the 2019 MMIWG National Inquiry, this multi-platform project tracks progress on the 231 Calls for Justice outlined in the inquiry’s final report. Visitors to the site are able to see what has been done for each call and hear from MMIWG family members about their own personal experience seeking justice for their loved ones. Visit cbc.ca/mmiwg.
- CBC Gem’s INDIGENOUS STORIES COLLECTION features a variety of series, documentaries and feature films, including award-winning miniseries POUR TOI FLORA (DEAR FLORA) from CBC/Radio-Canada and APTN, telling the story of young Anishinaabe (Algonquins) trying to make peace with the painful past of residential schools; RUN WOMAN RUN from Zoe Leigh Hopkins (Little Bird, Kayak to Klemtu), a feel-good anti-rom-com about a woman who has to tackle the ghosts of her past before she can run toward a new future; and EVER DEADLY (June 16). an immersive, visceral music and cinematic experience featuring Tanya Tagaq, avant-garde Inuit throat singer, and created in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Chelsea McMullan. Also included in the collection are three short documentaries made through the NSI IndigiDocs training program: WINNIPEG’S NORTH END: A FOOD DESERT, SPIRIT OF NATION: THE PLACES WE BELONG and KOKUM, WITH LOVE.
- The collection CBC KIDS CELEBRATES CANADA’S INDIGENOUS HERITAGE showcases award-winning programs on CBC Gem, such as ANAANA’S TENT in both English and Inuktitut, TEEPEE TIME in English and Mi’kmaq, and MOLLY OF DENALI, as well as STUDIO K’s celebration of Indigenous people and culture across Canada.
- CBC Kids has launched two new Indigenous video games on cbckids.ca featuring concept art and character design by Brent Beauchamp (Haudenosaunee – Six Nations) and original music by Cree hip-hop producer, Rex Smallboy: Turtle Island Skate Jam is an exciting skateboarding game, developed in collaboration with Nations Skate Youth, that takes place in a world filled with Indigenous imagery and features all-Indigenous characters, and Four Directions is an infectiously fun dance-based game featuring Indigenous design and original score.
- CBC Kids News has produced a new video for tweens, Smashing Stereotypes: What these Indigenous kids want you to know, hosted by CBC Kids News contributor Sophia Smoke. Shot on location at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, three Indigenous youth explore current stereotypes and feeling underestimated in Canada, all while sharing their joys, hopes and dreams for the future.
- CBC Podcasts offers a wide variety of Indigenous-themed podcasts on the free CBC Listen App and everywhere podcasts are available, including two new episodes of SECRET LIFE OF CANADA: “The Potlatch Ban,” about a secret Potlatch (a ceremony celebrated by many First Nations along the Pacific Northwest) and the ripple effects of a government ban that lasted almost 70 years, and “The story Falen never thought she’d tell,” a candid look into co-host Falen Johnson’s personal experiences growing up on Six Nations. Also available now are: BUFFY, a five-part series hosted by Mohawk and Tuscarora writer Falen Johnson exploring the life and legacy of prolific singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie; KUPER ISLAND, an eight-part series hosted by Duncan McCue about Kuper Island Residential School – where unsolved deaths, abuse, and lies haunt the community and the survivors to this day; THIS PLACE, CBC Books’ podcast adaptation of the bestselling graphic novel anthology telling 150 years of Canadian history through Indigenous stories; and TELLING OUR TWISTED HISTORIES, an 11-episode award-winning podcast series that reclaims Indigenous history by exploring 11 words whose meanings have been twisted by centuries of colonization.
- In addition to supporting CBC Indigenous content throughout the month, the @CBC Instagram and TikTok accounts are sharing original commissioned videos from five Indigenous creators about what brings them joy, and how they express it.
- Available to stream on CBC Gem, MAAMUITAAU is a weekly Cree language current affairs program, with English subtitles, bringing the stories of the James Bay Crees to life. In English, MAAMUITAAU means “let’s get together,” which reflects the spirit of the show. The ongoing series from CBC North Quebec Cree Media Unit covers a broad range of topics including social and political issues, environmental conflict, and traditional subjects such as hunting and crafts. Observational, engaging, and at times poetic, the show transports you to Quebec’s North and to the heart of Cree culture.
- UNRESERVED (Saturdays at 4.p.m. (4:30 NT) and Tuesdays at 1 p.m. (1:30 NT) on CBC Radio and CBC Listen) is the radio space for Indigenous voices — our cousins, our aunties, our elders, our heroes. Host Rosanna Deerchild guides us on the path to better understand our shared story. Together, we learn and unlearn, laugh and become gentler in all our relations.