Indigenous radio station hitting Vancouver airwaves next summer

The other four Indigenous stations will be based in Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto. (Shutterstock/DmitriMaruta)


CKUR will be broadcast on 106.3 FM and is expected to launch next June

By Michelle Ghoussoub, 

CBC News

Originally Posted: Jun 15,


An Indigenous radio station is set to hit Vancouver’s airwaves next summer, one of five launching across Canada after receiving approval from the CRTC.

In a statement, CRTC chairman and CEO Jean-Pierre Blais said the 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.”

Craig Ellis, program director for CFNR in Terrace, originally applied for the Urban Aboriginal radio license, and said he is “excited beyond belief” by the news.

“I’m hoping [the station] is one of those vehicles that will build a bridge between non First Nations people and also make them appreciate the culture and history of the area where they’re living,” he said.

The Vancouver station will primarily aim to serve the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh nations, but Ellis said the station’s content will try to reach Indigenous groups across the province.

“We will also reach out to other nations in the Fraser Valley area and also to the peoples who are from the nations around B.C. that have left their home territories and moved to Vancouver,” he said.

Read More HERE

Related Story and Mark Burley HERE



  1. Sto:lo and Sumas here in the Valley need to have an on air voice. They don’t get much coverage as they should. Sto:lo Business Council tries hard to move things forward IMO.

  2. Forgive me for asking this question.

    And JUST WHO will Pay to Fund this Program?

    Will there be Dedicated Advertisers, will the Funding come out of general Programming Ad Dollars, or will the Program be Funded by the Tax Payer?

  3. It’s a great question BMCQ. When I got involved with Indigenous Radio I had no idea on how they worked, most don’t even realize that we are here. The group that is going into Vancouver have a very successful commercial model with their current CFNR network based in Terrace. The Societies across the prairies, including us, CFWE in Alberta, all have sales teams and sell advertising very much like mainstream radio. We do have dedicated national, regional and local advertisers.

    There is grant money available to us through Heritage Canada. The amount is a moving target and not guaranteed, as we are all judged on the “culture” that appears on the radio. Most of it, in the past, has been based on language content. We jump through several hoops and are accountable throughout the year with reporting. The gate keepers are very active with this money and not every Indigenous station that applies gets it.

    We also keep our eye out for other government programs such as STEP and others that are available to everybody. There are a couple of other programs that aren’t broadcast specific that come up from time to time, but we have not taken advantage of any of them to this point.

    I hope this sheds a little light!

  4. Dear Mr. Leader;

    I wanted to take a moment and thank-you. It seems that everytime the words Indigenous or Aboriginal are attached to any story or headline? The non-aboriginal community demands the “who, what, where, when and why”. Or in the case of BCMQ , his bold lettered yelling of “JUST WHO”.

    If more people took the time to research, phone, write letters and ask the questions? We would have more clarity. That doesn’t seem to be the case as most are too lazy and read headlines in the National post or the Sun newspaper chain that continually bash and berate Aboriginal culture. Just take a moment and read how many times Christie Blanchford sheds negative light on first nation issues.

    Is Aboriginal culture perfect or void of miss-use? No. Is CBC void of miss-use, over-spending or waste of Tax payers funds? No. Seems to be the same to me. Waste is waste, regardless of who or where it comes from.

    So, I again thank-you (and for BMCQ seeings as he can’t take the time) for replying with a well thought, informative, educated answer.

    You made my day.

    Tim Murphy

  5. Boyd

    Thank you for the reply.

    The reason I asked the question is because other than CBC Broadcasting to Northern Remote Regions I am not necessarily in Cavour of Tax Payers Dollars Funding any Radio or Television Programming.

    Personally I would prefer that the CRTC do their job and ensure that various Cable and other Radio and Communications Corporations provide Community Programming that seems to be disappearing every year.

    As an outsider it appears that Communication Companies have benefitted greatly over many decades and they have been able to increase and manipulate packages to increase the Bottom Line but they actually have decreased quantity and quality of Programming.

    In the meantime the Tax Payer are faced with ever increasing Government Bureaucracy, out of control spending, fewer services and increased Taxes along with ever increasing Rents and Cost of owning a Home.

    I believe it is time for the CRTC to get back to their Mandate and create a Broadcasting Industry that works for ALL Canadians and at the same time provides Value for the Dollars spent.

    Canadian Tax Payers deserve much more from the CRTC.


    I am at work every day before 5:00 AM, I Travel a lot, I am fortunately very busy and i take the odd break to do some reading or writing but I do not always get to view PSR.

    Obviously you have more time on your hands than I do.

    I am very happy for you.


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