The Indigenous Screen Office in partnership with APTN is undertaking a community engagement process regarding Indigenous identity that will inform future policy directions. This is a nuanced issue that requires time to listen to the many different community perspectives.

Our goal is to have a set of new policies in place before the next anticipated round of ISO funding in Fall 2021 but we understand that this engagement may also inform broader policies and strategies for other groups and organizations. It is a priority for ISO and APTN that a robust, transparent, open and caring process takes place that recognizes the diversity of viewpoints on this complex issue and supports our ongoing policies and practices.

This call for Letters of Interest to lead the Indigenous Identity Consultation Process will give priority to Indigenous applicants, and should include culturally-specific Indigenous facilitators as part of the plan where possible. Only selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.

This will be a two-phase process in which proposals should include the approach applied to each phase.

The timeline for Phase One is March-May 2021 with Phase Two taking place June-July 2021. A final report will be required with recommendations on possible policy approaches that may be applied in response to the feedback.

Phase One
One-on-one interviews with Elders, organizational stakeholders and leaders with knowledge and expertise in implementing strategies around vetting Indigenous identity; environmental scan that summarizes relevant press, essays and literature on the topic as well as some examples of existing funding and other vetting practices (Note: ISO may be able to provide support for this component).

Phase Two
Broader community consultation process.


When submitting your LOI please include the following:

  • Background and experience
  • Consulting leads and co-facilitators
  • Approach to consultation process broken out in Phase One and Phase Two
  • Estimated costs

Please note: The ISO may also support the engagement of co-facilitators if necessary and applicants are welcome to express interest in either one phase of the process or both phases.

In December the ISO issued a statement on the issue of identity. In part it read:

“The Indigenous Screen Office is aware of the issues of Indigenous identity that have recently been raised within the Indigenous screen sector.

As an Indigenous advocacy and funding organization with the mission of fostering Indigenous narrative sovereignty, the ISO takes such matters very seriously…

As an organization, the ISO supports First Nations, Métis and Inuit self-determination and the ability of sovereign nations to determine their own citizenship. We believe that knowing your connection to community and familial ties is an essential component of Indigenous identity. For so many Indigenous people who have been displaced from those connections as a result of colonial practices — including residential schools, Sixties Scoop, urban relocation and the foster care system — we know that this can be a long and difficult journey…

We recognize that for reasons both historic and contemporary, these issues are extremely sensitive and can be divisive. We recognize that great harm can be caused when space, resources and opportunities are taken by those with unconfirmed or contested connections to their Indigenous identity.”

Deadline for submission is February 23, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET.


Support and develop Indigenous narrative sovereignty by increasing representation of Indigenous peoples throughout the screen industries.

Mission Statement
APTN is sharing our Peoples’ journey, celebrating our cultures, inspiring our children and  honouring the wisdom of our Elders.

Proposals will only be accepted by email at: