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The Indigenous Screen Office Welcomes Historic CRTC Decision on New Annual Funding for Indigenous-led Production

Press Release

Toronto (Tkaronto), ON June 4, 2024 — The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is thrilled with the announcement that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has allocated significant funding to ISO to support Indigenous production. The commitment is part of the implementation of the Online Streaming Act, which requires online undertakings to contribute a portion of their revenues to support Canadian content. The CRTC has estimated the total annual new base contributions to be $200m, which includes both audiovisual and audio contributions. We look forward to updating the industry and community when we have more details on the allocation.

The historic inclusion of the ISO in the new framework will support Indigenous-led storytelling on screen and foster the continued growth of the Indigenous screen sector. It also makes the ISO the largest national Indigenous-led fund in Canada supporting arts and culture.

“This decision is a landmark moment for Indigenous storytellers and represents what can be achieved when we all come to the table to create meaningful change,” says Kerry Swanson, ISO’s CEO. “What is ultimately a small percentage of money for the big streamers is a transformative opportunity for Indigenous peoples and a reason for celebration across an industry that is only starting down the path towards reconciliation and inclusion.”

The CRTC decision follows the recent announcement from Canadian Heritage of permanent funding to the ISO of $13m annually.

“Having a stable and consistent source of funding for Indigenous-made content through the ISO is a game-changer for Indigenous producers, who face multiple additional barriers in an industry that is already challenging,” says Jennifer Podemski, co-creator and showrunner of award-winning series Little Bird. “Not only is this a necessary step for our industry, it is also an incredible opportunity for exciting new stories on our screens.”

ISO presented at the CRTC hearing on base contributions in November 2023, where they asserted that support for Indigenous production should be understood through the lens of how English- and French-language content was supported in Canada.

“It is time for Indigenous storytelling to be seen as a cornerstone of the Canadian broadcasting and screen landscape,” says Danis Goulet, award-winning filmmaker and director on hit show Reservation Dogs. “This decision gives me hope that future generations of Indigenous storytellers will be making their mark on screen for years to come.”

The ISO is the first organization of its kind in Canada and abroad – an independent Indigenous-led funding organization that supports screen-based content owned and controlled by Indigenous storytellers on all platforms. ISO’s mandate is in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ratified by Canada, which positions storytelling and self-representation in media as a fundamental right.

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For more information or to book an interview:
Jean-François D. O’Bomsawin
Director of Communications and Francophone Initiatives.
jfobomsawin@iso-bea.ca
438.826.6291

IBF6

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