REGINA -- CTV News Saskatchewan’s long-running Indigenous Circle segment will be featured on CTV National News with Lisa LaFlamme.

The segment originated 27 years ago as a platform to amplify Indigenous and Metis voices in Saskatchewan.

“If we can teach people who we are as Indigenous people in this country, that's good,” Nelson Bird, a former host of Indigenous Circle, said.

“You know it's not great what's happening in some race relations in the world, but at least we are providing a tool for people to understand our culture, accept us for who we are, because we're not going anywhere."

The first segment of Indigenous Circle on CTV National News with Lisa LaFlamme will air on Wednesday night.

“Nelson and now Creeson [Agecoutay] have just been so open and helpful to those of us who really want to better reflect the country that we live in and tell these stories,” Lisa LaFlamme, CTV National News’ Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor, said.

“We're long overdue. So, now is the time to amplify the voices to amplify the stories."

Creeson Agecoutay, the current host of Indigenous Circle, said it is fitting the first national segment will launch on Orange Shirt Day.

“It runs parallel with our mission of bridging gaps and bringing all nations together and educating people about Indigenous people, it’s perfect,” Agecoutay said.

In Indigenous Circle’s nearly three decades on air, Bird was preceded as host by former FSIN vice Chief Lawrence Joseph and Doug Cuthand, a political columnist.

Bird took over as host in 1998 and produced the show for 15 years. Agecoutay succeeded Bird, taking the reins in 2013.

Indigenous Circle

Nelson Bird (left) and Creeson Agecoutay (right) are seen in the CTV News Regina studio during a taping of Indigenous Circle. (Nelson Bird/CTV News)

“I grew up watching that show and saying to my mom, ‘you know I want to do that job one day, I really want to do that job,’” Agecoutay said.

“Seeing [Bird] on TV, another Indigenous person doing that job, that really sparked interest in me for following this path and following this career.”

In 2018, the half hour show was cancelled and became a weekly segment on the CTV News Regina and Saskatoon weekend news.

Bird said it is hard to describe what its like to see this show and segment elevated to the national stage.

“The basic mission was to bridge gaps among Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,” Bird said

“We've done that for a long time, but now to put it on this national stage is so needed right now in this country, in North America but in Canada too, with race relations being what they are. I think this is a really positive step towards reconciliation.”

CTV National News with Lisa LaFlamme airs at 11:00 p.m. central standard time.