Statement by Kerry Swanson, CEO of Indigenous Screen Office, in response to ongoing funding confirmation by the Government of Canada - ISO-BEA

For immediate release

Today, the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced permanent funding to support Indigenous-led storytelling through the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO). This includes $65 million over five years starting in 2024-2025 and $13 million per year ongoing.

ISO welcomes this news with great enthusiasm. Securing ongoing funding marks a major milestone for our organization and the Indigenous storytellers we support, providing us with a foundation to continue the extraordinary growth and success we have demonstrated over the last six years. This is only the beginning for the ISO as we embark on the full expression of our mandate to build an Indigenous screen sector in Canada, and for Indigenous-made stories on screen to inspire audiences across this country and around the world. 

As Canada’s only independent national advocacy and funding organization serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators of screen content in Canada, the ISO is fostering cultural revitalization by increasing Indigenous storytelling on screens and promoting Indigenous values and participation across the broadcasting sector.  

The work of the ISO is to correct more than a century of harm that has been perpetuated through false representations of Indigenous peoples on screen and exclusion from the production industry. Our work into the future is to ensure that Indigenous storytelling and languages are supported as an important part of the fabric of Canada.

Indigenous storytellers can now be confident that ISO has the stability to continue to grow into the future and that their dreams for this sector can finally be realized. We look forward to enhancing this support from Canadian Heritage with an allocation from the CRTC. 

It is important to acknowledge the many people who helped make this happen. Thank you to the ISO team and the Board of Directors for their dedication and work. Thank you to the Indigenous screen community and our industry partners for their continued advocacy and support. Thank you to all of our partners in government who worked to make this happen. 

Special thanks and acknowledgement to ISO Founding Executive Director Jesse Wente for his inspiring leadership, consultant Marcia Nickerson whose research led to the formation of ISO, and CMF’s Valerie Creighton who championed the ISO from the beginning. 


For more information or to book an interview:
Jean-François D. O’Bomsawin
Director of Communications and Francophones Initiatives.