Supporting and developing the Indigenous screen-based industry in Canada

Main recommendations to better support the Indigenous screen-based sector in Canada.

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This document presents the main recommendations from a multi-stakeholder engagement process aimed at developing a strategy to better support the Indigenous screen-based sector in Canada. The strategy includes interim measures that a number of players can begin to implement in the short term, as well as possible solutions that will take longer to implement.

Consultant Marcia Nickerson interviewed Indigenous storytellers, creators and producers to identify the successes, challenges and gaps in the industry. Focus groups with Canadian broadcasters, distributors, funding agencies and training institutions were also held to discuss issues and opportunities to work together to better support the Indigenous screen-based industry, including film, television and digital media production.

The engagement process reiterated that Indigenous screen-based storytellers face a number of systemic barriers in getting their stories made and seen, including an uneven playing field; fragmented and inadequate funding; difficulties in accessing distribution; barriers to production, such as funding, capacity, diversity of Indigenous languages, cost of travel to rural, remote and northern locations; lack of Indigenous representation in decision-making positions; and lack of professional development and capacity building.

The overriding priority that emerged from this work is the establishment of an Indigenous screen office modelled on the Screen Australia Indigenous office.