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The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network Might Be Launching A U.S. Channel

All Nations Network is set to launch at some point in 2016.

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The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network is looking to expand its reach into the U.S. with a new cable channel.

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APTN's new channel will be known as the All Nations Network, which will "bring both native and non-native audiences in the U.S. a 24-hour network providing native news, sports, scripted, lifestyle, feature-length movies and children’s programming."

It's unclear how widely ANN will be distributed or when exactly it will launch, though the network hinted in a release that it will be "in 2016."

New channels in the U.S. can struggle to gain traction in a saturated TV market where cable companies act as gatekeepers.

“We think the time is right for Native Americans to have their own channel,” APTN CEO Jean La Rose said.

APTN / Twitter

APTN launched in 1999 as a non-profit TV channel with a mission to tell stories by and for Canada's Indigenous Peoples. The network has a mandatory carriage license, which means providers have to include it in basic cable and satellite packages, and reaches more than 10 million Canadian households.

La Rose cited APTN's distinct Canadian programming as reason to export the model to the U.S.

“Certainly, our experience in Canada has been one of creating and providing opportunities for our producers, for our storytellers, to tell our stories, in our words, to our Peoples and to the world," he said. "Native American producers are poised and eager to have the same opportunities, and we believe that we can work together to provide a unique window into the lives — past, present and future — of this community.”

APTN says it has gotten the endorsement of Hollywood heavyweights like actor Robert Redford and director Jim Jarmusch for its U.S. channel. It has also enlisted Native American filmmaker Chris Eyre, who "will be working closely" with ANN on its U.S. launch.

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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