In past columns, we’ve focused on a variety of genres of APTN programming, such as comedies, documentaries and blockbuster movies. But did you know that APTN produces its own national and investigative news programming, and gathers information from 11 of its own news bureaus located across the country?

This month, APTN’s investigative news team tackles the treatment of Aboriginal Peoples in the health care system, and focuses on a couple of highly publicized cases in Manitoba.

Brian Sinclair and Dylan Campbell may be the most recognizable names, but the Winnipeg-based Southern Chiefs Organization has compiled a list of many others with serious complaints about the quality of health care provided to Aboriginal Peoples in Manitoba.

APTN will take an in-depth look at this issue in its first ever Special Report that will be broadcast during the second half of the APTN National News on Tuesday, June 29.

A five-person team, comprised of members of APTN National News and APTN’s Investigative News Unit, was formed to look into the health care complaints after a physician contacted APTN to point out a number of ethical concerns about the way the Brian Sinclair matter was handled by Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and provincial government officials.

An interview with that physician will be featured during the 30-minute special report, along with members of the Sinclair and Campbell families and others.

In a tragedy that was publicized across Canada, wheelchair-bound Brian Sinclair, a 45-year-old man from the Sagkeeng First Nation, appears to have died an entirely avoidable and very painful death after waiting for 34 hours in the emergency room of the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre in September of 2008. It is alleged that a simple blocked catheter became a terminal condition because of the 34-hour wait.

An inquest – a less extensive process than an inquiry under the Manitoba Fatalities Act – has been called into the Sinclair fatality by Manitoba’s chief medical examiner. But a start date will not be set for the inquest until the Winnipeg Police Service determines whether or not a criminal investigation should have been conducted at the time.

Lawyers acting for APTN and other media were unsuccessful in an attempt to convince Manitoba Provincial Court Judge Tim Preston to allow cameras into the inquest.

In another case, Dylan Campbell was 11 years old when his parents took him to the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre for a tonsillectomy. Something went wrong and Dylan is now in a vegetative state with his chance of recovery questionable. His family is not satisfied with the explanation provided by hospital staff. No inquest or inquiry has been called in this case.

Be sure to tune in as Cheryl McKenzie hosts this special report on June 29 after a shortened 30-minute edition of the national news.

Make sure to log on to www.aptn.ca to see our full northern schedule and more information on current programming and initiatives, contests and memberships.

Next month: Tune in as we bring you sneak peeks of upcoming fall programming!