APTN National NewsThe Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has awarded radio licenses in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto to three Indigenous communications companies.Northern Native Broadcasting (of Terrace) in British Columbia was awarded radio rights in Vancouver, Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta received licenses in Edmonton and Calgary, and First Peoples Radio Inc. was awarded a license in Ottawa and Toronto.
First Peoples Radio is owned by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).
The announcement was made Wednesday in Ottawa.
“This decision comes at a crucial time, not only because it comes in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, chair of the CRTC. “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.”
The Vancouver station will operate at 106.3 MHz.The station will broadcast popular music and devote at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of spoken word programming to Indigenous-language programming each week.