Training for the future: Supporting the career development of Indigenous students

APTN is proud to support the career development of First Nations, Inuit and Métis students. The network provides students of vocational schools and post-secondary institutions with internships and mentorship opportunities that introduce them to the film and broadcast industry.

Since its inception over 20 years ago, APTN has worked for and with Indigenous Peoples across Canada. This collaboration is rooted in APTN’s continued commitment to provide and support work opportunities for Indigenous Peoples. Notably, APTN’s Work Experience Program, the Extensive Internship Program and its many scholarship and mentorship opportunities contribute to the recognition of the network as an industry and one of Canada’s Top Employers.

APTN’s Work Experience Program is a collaboration between APTN, high school educators and post-secondary educational institutions that identify suitable Indigenous students to enroll in the unique program. Students who complete the program are eligible to apply for a paid internship position with the network. The Extensive Internship Program and the Work Experience Program placed four students over the 2020-2021 fiscal year, helping them acquire valuable work experience in the broadcast industry.

In the summer of 2018, Owen Pantos completed a paid internship with APTN as a human resource assistant. Since then, Pantos has been employed by the network as a marketing coordinator.

“APTN gave me the opportunity to work in the broadcast industry before starting my career. Throughout my internship I was given valuable opportunities to apply my marketing education in an industry setting,” says Pantos. “After graduating, I knew that APTN was where I wanted to be and I was fortunate enough to secure my current position.”

The Canadian Association of Journalists and APTN continue to collaborate and provide one Indigenous person with a 12-week paid fellowship at APTN Investigates. Successful candidates spend the placement producing a full-length piece of original investigative reporting that will air on APTN.

APTN’s Indigenous Scholarship Program supports First Nations, Inuit and Métis students in the course of their studies. Through Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships and awards program, Indigenous students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to complete a course of study receive $2,000 which may be applied to their academic and/or living costs. During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, APTN embarked on an internal mentorship program. Led by Judi Spear of Spear-Rhodes Ltd., the program provides Indigenous employees with development opportunities. Once they’ve completed the program, APTN employees have the opportunity to apply for mid-level management and senior management vacancies as they become available. As of 2022, four mentors and four mentees from APTN are currently participating in the program.

Along with ongoing in-house training, APTN employees are encouraged to seek further education and training opportunities.

APTN is committed to fostering the growth of both its employees and the young Indigenous workforce at large. The network plans to continue its investment in Indigenous education by connecting, supporting and inspiring First Nations, Inuit and Métis scholars across Canada.