Have you ever wondered how your kids can become more involved with National Aboriginal Day?

Or maybe you’re a teacher who wants your students to be more interested in celebrating the culture of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.

In preparation for APTN’s annual celebration of National Aboriginal Day, Aboriginal Day Live, APTN is launching its annual Aboriginal Day Live Flag Contest.

The contest invites young people ages 12 to 17 years to design a flag reflecting their perspectives on the rich diversity of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada.

So grab some pencil crayons, paper, and a little inspiration!

The contest is a creative opportunity for youth to tap into their imaginations and express who they are and what Aboriginal Day means to them. And there’s an exciting prize package to boot.

The winner and his/her parent or guardian will be flown to Winnipeg to join APTN’s Aboriginal Day Live celebrations and be part of the show.

During the live broadcast, we will unveil the flag and introduce the artist on national television. The winning flag will fly on top of APTN’s national headquarters in downtown Winnipeg and the winner will receive a cash prize of $500.

If the winner’s submission is part of a class project, the school will receive a $750 cash prize towards the purchase of learning materials.

Last year’s winning flag was by 16-year-old artist Dylan Willet. His artwork incorporated different symbols that reflected individual cultures and represented Aboriginal Peoples as a whole. His design was chosen from a total of 254 entries received from across Canada.

The deadline for entries to be received at APTN’s Winnipeg headquarters is May 13, 2011 at midnight Eastern time.For more information, including contest rules and submission specifications, visit APTN’s Aboriginal Day Live website at www.aboriginaldaylive.com/flagcontest.php.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

If you missed it the first time around, you’ll want to catch APTN’s Blackstone marathon, featuring back-to-back episodes of one of the network’s newest, most controversial hit series in April. Join us as we rebroadcast the compelling series from start to finish from April 22 to 24.

Blackstone, the series that made its highly anticipated debut in January, examines issues of drug abuse, violence, poverty and suicide, through a raw and authentic perspective.

The series is controversial and intense, and viewers are exposed to a raw look behind the veils of power and politics on an Aboriginal reserve.

With an uncensored script and content that often takes fiction to the borderline with hard-hitting realities, it’s the kind of series guaranteed to challenge beliefs and provoke powerful conversations.

If you’ve missed an episode or just want to revisit this groundbreaking series, tune in for the April Blackstone marathon.

Next month: Check us out in May for the return of We Shall Remain.

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