Indigenous Screen Cultures in Canada

Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson (Editor), Marian Bredin (Editor)

Indigenous media challenges the power of the state, erodes communication monopolies, and illuminates government threats to indigenous cultural, social, economic, and political sovereignty. Its effectiveness in these areas, however, is hampered by government control of broadcast frequencies, licensing, and legal limitations over content and ownership.

Indigenous Screen Cultures in Canada explores key questions surrounding the power and suppression of indigenous narrative and representation in contemporary indigenous media. Focussing primarily on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, the authors also examine indigenous language broadcasting in radio, television, and film; Aboriginal journalism practices; audience creation within and beyond indigenous communities; the roles of program scheduling and content acquisition policies in the decolonization process; the roles of digital video technologies and co-production agreements in indigenous filmmaking; and the emergence of Aboriginal cyber-communities.


Indigenous Screen Cultures is an accomplished and strong contribution to the growing body of scholarship on indigenous media. By bringing together interdisciplinary research and analyses, the volume sheds much needed light on the enormous challenges and successes of APTN and its ongoing mandate to cover issues affecting Canada’s diverse Aboriginal populations.”

Canadian Literature, Sept. 2011

“This is one of the first books to deal specifically with contemporary programming practices and content emerging from Aboriginal Canadian media organizations, primarily the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). … The book’s key contribution is to present specific cases that show how mass media permit local instances of increased cultural and social agency among indigenous groups and how Aboriginal media producers conceive of traditional knowledge, languages, and practices as vehicles of modern culture within a global mediascape.”

– G. Bruyere, CHOICE, Sept. 2011

“It is the coherence of theory and purpose, alongside the comprehensive scope of the book, the clarity of the writing throughout, and the demonstrable knowledge of the contributors that characterize Indigenous Screen Cultures.”

– Gordon Gray, Berea College, Visual Anthropology

“The study of Indigenous media is a relatively recent development, bridging visual anthropology, cultural studies, cinema, communication and media studies, among other area studies. In Canada, the field has emerged mainly from communication and media scholars. The recent publication of anthologies such as Indigenous Screen Cultures in Canada attests to the richness and relevance of this field.”

– Amalia Cordova, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Labour

About the Authors

Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson is assistant professor at the Department of Museology, University of Iceland.

Marian Bredin is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, and Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies at Brock University.

Book Details

  • Indigenous Screen Cultures in Canada
  • Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson (Editor), Marian Bredin (Editor)
  • Published October 2010, 216 pages
  • Paper, ISBN: 9780887557187, 6 × 9, $27.95
  • Cloth, ISBN: 9780887551901, 6 × 9, $55.00
  • Topic(s): Decolonization, Film & Media Studies, Indigenous Studies

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