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Five New Indigenous Radio Licenses Approved In Urban Markets

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted licences for the operation of five radio stations on Wednesday that will serve the Indigenous communities in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto.

The organizations that will operate the radio stations are:

  • Northern Native Broadcasting, in Vancouver;

  • Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta, in Edmonton and Calgary; and

  • First Peoples Radio Inc., in Ottawa and Toronto.

These five new stations’ programming “must reflect the communities they serve, include a large portion of local content, such as news, and deal with the specific concerns of Indigenous people in the regions in question,” the regulator stated in a press release issued June 14.

Part of the spoken programming must also be in an Indigenous language.

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.

Quote

“We are very pleased to announce this decision today and to approve the applications for radio licences for the Indigenous communities in the regions concerned. This is a highly anticipated outcome given the length of this public proceeding. I feel even more honoured since it was the last hearing I chaired.

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, such as the disappearance and murder of Indigenous women, water quality on some reserves and Indigenous youth suicides. We will closely monitor the licensees to ensure that they act in keeping with their mandate of serving and promoting Indigenous communities by dealing with the issues that affect them directly, speaking their languages and promoting their cultures.”

Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman and CEO

Quick Facts
  • The CRTC is fulfilling an urgent need for radio stations for Indigenous people in the cities of Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto, which have not had a station entirely devoted to Indigenous people since 2015.

  • The new stations will broadcast on the following frequencies:

  • Vancouver (Northern Native Broadcasting): 106.3 FM

  • Edmonton (Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta): 89.3 FM

  • Calgary (Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta): 88.1 FM

  • Ottawa (First Peoples Radio Inc.): 95.7 FM

  • Toronto First Peoples Radio Inc.): 106.5 FM

  • The Commission plans will initiate a review of its Indigenous radio policy “to ensure that the regulatory framework is effective and reflects the realities of radio stations serving Indigenous peoples.”

No date is given.

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