It’s something that he’s always had in the back of his mind as the Aboriginal Multi Media Society of Alberta grew, said Bert Crowfoot, CEO and Founder of the organization.
AMMSA has had the northern part of the province covered for the past 35 years, with its CFWE-FM radio station, and newspapers Windspeaker and Alberta Sweetgrass, but now AMMSA is filling in a spot around Calgary with the new Indigenous radio station CJWE-FM.
Crowfoot flipped the switch yesterday, April 9, on the station to begin three weeks of testing the signal. An official launch is planned for September when studios are complete.
This is a milestone for Crowfoot. He’s from the Siksika Nation near Calgary.
“It kind of feels like I’m coming home,” he said.
The licence for this station was granted to AMMSA in June 2017, as well as a licence for CIWE, an Edmonton specific urban station.
“I feel like an expectant father, pacing, walking back and forth,” he said as he waited for that moment when the signal would go live on 88.1 in Calgary. At 100,000 watts it should cover most of southern Alberta. There is also a transmitter at Porcupine Hills at Fort McLeod which will later merge with the 88.1 signal.
“It’s exciting times.”
Crowfoot said the new station will provide southern Alberta with an Indigenous voice, and provide an opportunity to feel proud of who they are, through the sharing of stories and local Indigenous language programming.
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Groups compete to provide Indigenous radio in Alberta’s two major cities www.windspeaker.com/news/windspeaker-news/groups-compete-to-provide-indigenous-radio-in-albertas-two-major-cities/