Cheryl McKenzie

Canadian broadcast journalist
Cheryl McKenzie
NationalityHollow Water First Nation, Peguis First Nation, Canadian
EmployerAPTN National News
AwardsNAJA-Medill Milestone Achievement Award (2022)

Cheryl McKenzie is a Canadian broadcast journalist and the Director of News and Current Affairs for the APTN National News.[1] She is of Anishinabek and Cree descent. She is best known as the host of the Aboriginal People's Television Network's half-hour nightly news show APTN National News, and the talk Show InFocus.[2]

Early life

Both McKenzie's parents are residential school survivors.[3][4]

They are from the Hollow Water First Nation and Peguis First Nation in Manitoba.[5]

Cheryl McKenzie grew up in Winnipeg, but frequently visited family on her parents' reserves.[3] Cheryl's first career was as a chef. She worked in Winnipeg's number one–ranked restaurant, Amici, when she was still a teenager, aged 19. The grueling work schedule proved difficult after Cheryl became a single mother, and so she returned to school at the University of Winnipeg.[3]

McKenzie enrolled initially in political science but was frustrated that the course excluded Indigenous peoples. She switched her major and graduated with a degree in philosophy in 1998.[3]


CBC Radio

Cheryl briefly interned at CBC Radio Winnipeg in 2000.[6] The internship ended after 10 months when the funding ran out. Also, her superiors at CBC told her they didn't think she would be successful as a journalist.[3]


In 2001 Cheryl landed a job as a reporter at the Aboriginal People's Television Network's weekly news show, InVision, which was rebranded into APTN National News in 2003.[6]

In 2004 McKenzie earned award nominations at the Geminis and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters for an investigative series of reports into the lives of First Nations people who became ill and in some cases died from asbestos-related illness after their homes were contaminated by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.[7][8]

APTN Daytime

In July 2005 McKenzie was promoted to Host/Producer for the launch of APTN National News: Daytime a second national half hour newscast. Announcing New Host and Producer For APTN National News.[9]

APTN Contact

McKenzie assumed the role of host producer on the APTN national call-in show Contact in 2007.[10]

APTN National News and InFocus

A new talk format show, APTN InFocus, replaced Contact in 2009, with McKenzie at the forefront as the host-producer.

McKenzie reappeared on the news, this time on the desk as a co-anchor with Michael Hutchison in 2012.[11]

In the fall of 2014, InFocus reverted to a half-hour show. Topics have included: suicide rates, addiction, mental health issues, low income, community violence, high incarceration rates, and self-governance struggles.[3]

APTN InFocus reformatted again in 2016, becoming a one-hour show, interactive as Contact had been but with a new focus on social media. The first episode on June 3, 2016, featured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a guest. It was the first time a serving Prime Minister ever gave a sit-down interview to an Indigenous media organization. Trudeau took questions via telephone and Twitter for an hour.[12] The current design of the show usually features a three guest panel, and allows viewers to join the conversation via telephone Twitter or Facebook.

Executive Director of news and current affairs

McKenzie was promoted to executive director of news and current affairs on July 22, 2019, succeeding Karyn Pugliese, who departed on July 31, 2019.[1]


  1. ^ a b "APTN Announces New Executive Director of News and Current Affairs". 22 July 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-12-14.
  2. ^ "New Host and Producer For APTN National News in Broadcaster Magazine". Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Lauren McKeon, Leading the way, J-source. October 12, 2011
  4. ^ Canadian Media Guild Building APTN to last in a changing Canada, Feb 27, 2013
  5. ^ "Announcing New Host and Producer For APTN National, News Media Release". Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  6. ^ a b Cheryl McKenzie, Linked in Profile.
  7. ^ Canadian Media Guild In support of APTN's license renewal Archived 2011-06-12 at the Wayback Machine, May 2005
  8. ^ Cheryl McKenzie - APTN Producer and Television Host, Native Trailblazers.
  9. ^ APTN Launches Fall Campaign Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine, Broadcaster Magazine, 2005-10-07.
  10. ^ Lee Rickwood, New Season Scores with Space and Sex Comedy Continues Amid Dramatic Dearth Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine, Broadcaster, 2007-09-01.
  11. ^ APTN National News Unveils Fall Lineup Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine, Broadcaster Magazine, 2012-08-28.
  12. ^ Levin, Dan (29 October 2016). "APTN, a TV Voice for Largely Ignored Indigenous Canadians". The New York Times.

External links

  • Official website