Indigenous Action Plan

National Film Board
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On June 17, 2017, the NFB announced the launch of its three-year Indigenous Action Plan, in response to the work and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Indigenous creators' long-standing concerns about systemic inequities in the existing Canadian production landscape. The plan was developed in collaboration with an Indigenous advisory group and contains 33 commitments grouped under four main areas: institutional transformation, industry leadership, production and distribution.

Now in the second year of implementation of this completed action plan, the NFB is well on its way to achieving production goals that make more room for Indigenous creative expression. Indeed, the number of projects carried out by Indigenous filmmakers increased from 30 in 2017-2018 to 40 in 2018-2019. These projects represented 15 percent of the NFB's overall production expenditures. The NFB has therefore honoured a key commitment in its Indigenous Action Plan a year sooner than anticipated.

Creative incubators specifically designed for Indigenous artists were also launched last year: the Labrador Doc Project for Nunatsiavummiut filmmakers, the Deranger creative lab for multidisciplinary artists who work in the French language in Winnipeg and the 12th edition of Hothouse. The NFB's English and French programs created hands-on mentorship opportunities for four associate producers in different studios to participate in the production of these works.

One of the priorities of the Indigenous Action Plan is to achieve 4 percent Indigenous representation across all levels of the NFB's workforce by 2025. To this end, the NFB partnered with Indigenous Works--a non-profit business recognized for its leadership in workplace inclusion and its ability to promote stronger Indigenous inclusion strategies in Canadian corporations--to review its hiring policies. Based on this report and a review of best practices in other Indigenous organizations, the NFB will enrich its recruitment strategy to increase its ability to reach qualified Indigenous candidates. It will also improve onboarding retention, and professional development practices in its workforce.

Many of the commitments outlined in the Indigenous Action Plan aim to connect audiovisual works (both new and classic) by Indigenous artists more broadly with audiences. In an effort to increase the number of community-based screenings, the NFB partnered with several Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations in every province and territory to present the Aabiziingwashi (Wide Awake) Indigenous Cinema Tour. Launched in 2017 in collaboration with media partners APTN, TIFF Bell Lightbox and the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the tour had a stellar first year and was extended through to 2019, with recent titles being added as they are launched.

Also worth noting is the new Indigenous Cinema Web portal that offers more than 200 NFB titles directed by Metis, Inuit and First Nations filmmakers, providing more access than ever to Indigenous stories and perspectives. Users can search the site by subject, name of filmmaker and name of Indigenous people or nation. The collection was catalogued using the Indigenous Materials Classification Schema, first implemented in 2015 at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation's library.
The NFB was also one of several organizations to provide financial support to the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival for the creation of On-Screen Protocols & Pathways: A Media Production Guide to Working with First Nations, Metis and Inuit Communities, Cultures, Concepts and Stories, released in March 2019. The NFB's productions respect the principles set out in this guide: they are based on respect, humility, and meaningful collaboration and consent.

The NFB's progress on implementing its Indigenous Action Plan also includes advances in community engagement, online accessibility, educational resources and hiring, as well as adopting new working protocols for with Indigenous creators and content.

Quels sont les résultats atteints jusqu’à présent grâce à la mise en œuvre de la politique/mesure ?: 

In June 2019, for National Indigenous Peoples Day, the NFB reported on the progress made in the second year of implementation of its Indigenous Action Plan and announced that it had reached its Indigenous production spending commitment of 15 percent one year ahead of target.

Results for 2018-2019:
* 15 percent of production budgets were allocated to projects by Indigenous artists
* Forty works by Indigenous creators were recently completed or are in production across Canada
* 10 percent of NFB works have been produced by Indigenous artists
* Indigenous employees now represent 1.25 percent of all staff; the NFB has committed to achieving 4 percent Indigenous representation across all sectors and levels of its workforce--a minimum of 16 people--by 2025

Other highlights:
* Aabiziingwashi (Wide Awake): Indigenous Cinema on Tour of Indigenous directed titles from the NFB's collection has surpassed 1,300 screenings to date the provinces and territories. The tour is working with partners to bring Indigenous cinema to and initiate discussions in communities big and small across Canada. New titles for 2019 include nipawistamasowin: We Will Stand Up, Freedom Road, Jordan's Principle and Christopher Auchter's Now is the Time.
* Launched in early 2018, Indigenous Cinema is the NFB's rich online collection of Indigenous-made films, now featuring more than 300 titles for free. To help mark National Indigenous Peoples Day 2019, new titles include award-winning films like Birth of a Family by Tasha Hubbard, Three Thousand by Asinnajaq and Holy Angels by Jay Cardinal Villeneuve; along with the premiere of the five films from Indigenous Proud: Kristi Lane Sinclair's Full Circle, Darlene Naponse's Places to Gather and Learn, Clayton Windatt's Some Stories..., Jamie Whitecrow's The Old Game Lacrosse and Tracie Louttit's Zaagi'idiwin.
* A trusted source of quality educational content for schools across Canada, the NFB will soon be launching a new online educational experience that draws from the NFB's collection, providing Indigenous perspectives on the history and culture of Indigenous peoples in Canada, geared for students in Grades 9 to 12.

Ressources financières allouées à la politique/mesure en dollars américains: 

Fifteen percent of all NFB production spending is allocated to projects by Indigenous artists. This performance indicator is an integral part of annual reporting at the NFB.

Partenaires engagés dans la mise en œuvre de la politique/mesure : 
Nom du partenaireType d'entité
Indigenous Works
Organisation de la société civile (OSC)
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
Secteur public
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Secteur privé
imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
Organisation de la société civile (OSC)
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Si oui, quelles sont les principales conclusions/recommandations ?: 

There is one year left before the Indigenous Action Plan is completed. However, it is clear that the NFB wants to ensure that these commitments are an integral part of its culture and methods in future years. There will be constant work to ensure the diversity of Canadian society is represented both in front of and behind the camera.