Northern Native Broadcasting’s existing CFNR radio station broadcasts live in March 2015 from a Gingolx, B.C. event in the province’s north, where it is currently aired.
Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto will get new radio stations, CRTC says
CBC News, June 14, 2017
Five Canadian cities will be home to new Indigenous radio stations, the CRTC has announced.
The commission said Wednesday it has granted licences for the stations, which will serve Indigenous audiences in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto.
“This decision comes at a crucial time, not only because it comes in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, but also because of the many major issues that affect these communities,” read a statement from Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC chairman and CEO.
Those issues include “the disappearance and murder of Indigenous women, water quality on some reserves and Indigenous youth suicides,” he said.
Filling a void
Three organizations will operate the new stations, the CRTC said.
Northern Native Broadcasting, which currently operates in the Yukon, will establish Vancouver’s new station.
“I’m proud to announce that the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society [of Alberta] was successful in our applications for radio licenses in Calgary and Edmonton,” announced the society’s CEO, Bert Crowfoot, on Facebook.
“We’ll be the same power as all mainstream stations.”
Toronto’s and Ottawa’s new stations will be the domain of First People’s Radio, which marks the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network’s move into radio.
APTN had actually applied for licences in all five of the regions, which were left vacant by the recent demise of Aboriginal Voices Radio.
The panel had also considered applications from Wawatay Native Communications Society and VMS Media Group Ltd.
Indigenous languages a priority
The public hearings were held in the national capital in March 2016.
“In the view of the CRTC, these three organizations best demonstrated how their programming would reflect the interests and meet the needs of the Indigenous communities in their respective markets,” the CRTC’s statement read.
In that announcement, the CRTC also said that the new stations must broadcast in at least one Indigenous language.
The new stations will broadcast on the following frequencies:
- Vancouver 106.3 FM.
- Edmonton 89.3 FM.
- Calgary 88.1 FM.
- Ottawa 95.7 FM.
- Toronto 106.5 FM.
‘Behind the mic’: Indigenous radio to hit Vancouver airwaves
CRTC gives green light to northern B.C. broadcaster to go on-air in Lower Mainland, vowing to put Indigenous voices ‘behind the mic.’
Metro Vancouver’s been approved to get a new radio station on its dial.
And once it hits the airwaves next year, 106.3FM will be the first exclusively by and for roughly 70,000 Indigenous listeners in the region.
Northern Native Broadcasting — an existing private station with five First Nations on its board in Terrace, B.C. — won a coveted radio license from the federal government’s Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on Wednesday to move south.
“Five of us on our team went to the (CRTC) hearing and we left there very confident — we felt we made a very strong presentation,” said Greg Smith, the company’s CEO and a member of Haisla Nation, told Metro in a phone interview. “But when I got the email this morning, I was beside myself to get the news.”
But it will take roughly a year before the new Vancouver station is built “from scratch,” Smith said. A vital step is to reach out to involve the three nations with traditional territories in the region: Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish nations.
“It’s a really big urban market, so we’ll be providing the aboriginal listeners a voice,” he added. “We’ll give them an opportunity to put them behind the mic and voice their concerns and be an advocate. Right now they’re not being served down there.”
Currently, Vancouver Co-op Radio offers several weekly Indigenous programs at 100.5FM. But once launched, 106.5FM will offer a round-the-clock voice.
The CRTC also approved four similar stations in Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto. According to chairman Jean-Pierre Blais, the licenses come “at a crucial time,” he said in a statement, “in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, but also because of the many major issues that affect these communities.”
Whether missing and murdered Indigenous women, lack of drinking water on reserves, or youth suicide, he added, the hope is that the new radio stations will serve “Indigenous communities by dealing with the issues that affect them directly, speaking their languages and promoting their cultures.”