Tsilhqot’in National Government communications manager Graham Gillies (left), translator and transcriber Bella Alphonse and NDIT intern Crystal Rain Harry have been working with Rob Hopkins to create a new Tsilhqot’in Community Radio station. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Tsilhqot’in National Government communications manager Graham Gillies (left), translator and transcriber Bella Alphonse and NDIT intern Crystal Rain Harry have been working with Rob Hopkins to create a new Tsilhqot’in Community Radio station. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

B.C. Interior First Nation create a community radio station

The Tsilhqot’in National Government is developing a radio station to promote language revitalization and create unity

Stories broadcast in the Tsilhqot’in language will begin hitting the airwaves Friday, Dec. 15 with the launch of a new radio station serving First Nation communities.

Some of the stories will be in English too, said Bella Alphonse, a translator and transcriber for the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG).

Hers is one of the voices people will hear on the new station, which is being developed by the TNG.

“One of our first stories will be about Sasquatches,” Alphonse told the Tribune minutes after she finished recording a broadcast. “It was told back in the 1800s to someone named Livingston Farrand who collected stories from the Tsilhqot’in.”

The reason for focusing on Sasquatches, said TNG communications manager Graham Gillies, is because there have been some sights and sounds in Tl’etinqox recently that have everybody talking.

“We think it will be a great tie-in and awesome start for a radio program,” Gillies said.

Crystal Rain Harry, who is a member of Xat’sull First Nation, is working as a Northern Development Initiative Trust intern at the TNG and is helping with the radio project.

“One of the community members got really scared and decided to record what he was hearing from inside his house and he’s not the only one that’s been saying they’ve been hearing a loud yelling kind of noise,” Harry said of the Sasquatch story.

“Even if you are a believer or not in Sasquatches, everyone’s interested in them.”

This week Gillies, Harry and Alphonse have been training with Rob Hopkins, aka “RadioRob,” a broadcaster at CFET Radio in Tagish, Yukon.

Through his 35-year radio career, Hopkins has also developed Open Broadcaster ­a software that can run radio stations through a web interface.

“The audience and these guys can run their network of radio stations from any web browser,” he said, noting he has customers all over Canada and the high Arctic using the software.

“We also had Bill Polonsky here to show them how the server software works to schedule and make community play lists,” Hopkins said. “He’s the manager of CJUC, the community radio station in Whitehorse.”

Gillies said the TNG were inspired to follow the example of the Nuxalk who launched a radio station in Bella Coola about four years ago that has been successful, especially with inspiring pride among people of all ages.

Read More: 91.1 FM Bella Coola Nuxalk Radio

“They have live shows and they have pre-recorded stuff as well as syndicated programs from around Canada of other Indigenous programs and podcasts,” Gillies added. “At the beginning ours will be mostly pre-recorded content.” Gillies said the nice thing is that if someone wants to record an audio file from wherever they are, they can transfer it onto a USB stick and the team can upload it for radio.

A test broadcast was done at Redstone this week to make sure everything was working while the TNG waited to receive final approval from Industry Canada, which they now have.

“We did a drive around the community and the radio transmission hit to a 10-kilometre radius,” Gillies said.

People tuning into listen will use regular FM radios, but there will also be some web streaming, Hopkins said.

While Tsilhqot’in Community Radio is the temporary name of the new 104.5 FM station, there will be a contest in the near future to name it, Harry said.

Tolko Industries Ltd. donated five desktop computers for the project that can be used by the communities, and the TNG is providing the funding for training in the communities, Gillies said.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read