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Aboriginal show hits the airwaves.

Seven Aboriginal volunteers are raising the profile of Aboriginal musicians and focusing on issues and information about current and upcoming events through a new Aboriginal radio program called 'Aboriginal CKCU.'

This program hit Carleton University's 93.1 FM airwaves on March 11 with Geraldine King hosting the first show.

"The feedback I got was really good," said the Ojibwe community member. "I think the most common piece of feedback I heard was that it was really informative."

Each week the shows will be pre-recorded to avoid any technical difficulties, which will then be aired every Sunday morning at 9 a.m.

The volunteer hosts will feature Aboriginal musicians and increase listener's appreciation on issues surrounding politics and culture.

During King's show she played an interview she did with the cultural coordinator from the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institute.

The interview focused on the origin and the history of pow wows. It also gave insight into the protocol on singing and dancing and different aspects of the modern day pow wow as to where it originated from and the difference between northern and southern singing and dancing.

"I chose to go with something light for the first show in order to address the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal audience," said King, communications officer for the National Centre for First Nations Governance. "I didn't want to talk about something really in depth and deadly. I wanted to sort of accurately reflect the vision and the goal of the program itself but not getting too deep because you don't want to sit there and say all negative things so I wanted to keep it light but I also wanted it to be taken seriously so I was nervous about if I had accomplished that. The balance of being funny, of having music, being serious and addressing issues, so I was nervous about my ability to do that."

Although King doesn't have any radio experience she does have a background in the arts, which is something she thinks can greatly benefit her show.

"I think my background in the arts like writing, comedy, dancing would bring a perspective of experience," said King.

King describes the focus of this program as a way to promote, foster and encourage a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Aboriginal culture and to also promote and expose "our" artists who usually wouldn't have the opportunity to do so.

"I know a lot of artists who produce their own music in their house on their computer but there's no way that these other radio stations are going to take them seriously and play their music," said King. "I think it would be really important to expose our artists to sort of demonstrate how beautiful our culture is and that's really important to me so that non-Aboriginal people have a greater understanding and appreciation for our culture. As well, Aboriginal people can have a greater sense of connecting to what we're saying."


Nathan Cheechoo is a new and upcoming artist that King is trying to get on her show.

"He has some clips on "my space" that he did from home and I want to offer an opportunity for him to play live on the radio," said King. "I want to snatch him up here before he makes it big."

She has the utmost respect for the well-established artist but King's focus is more on who is trying to make a name for themselves in the music industry.

"I didn't just want to play these artists that we all hear about like Buffy Sainte Marie and Susan Aglukark but it was important for me to have the people in, that you wouldn't regularly hear on the airwaves," said King.

According to Michele Bourque, one of the seven Aboriginal CKCU hosts, people are becoming more and more interested in the show since the second airing on Mar. 18.

"I'm really happy to be a part of this," said Bourque the Ojibwe student. "We know what we want to do and what we want to accomplish and how we're going to get there so it's really quite an exciting time for us."

Bourque has her shows planned for the next three months and she will be talking about issues surrounding environment, mother earth, culture, poverty and sports in Aboriginal communities.

"We want to reach out to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal listeners and increase their understanding of who we are as a people who overcome barriers."

If you are not picking up CKCU at 93.1, the show is also available at

By Laura Suthers

Windspeaker Staff Writer

COPYRIGHT 2007 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:ONTARIO BIRCHBARK: Windspeaker's Special Section Serving the Aboriginal People of Ontario
Author:Suthers, Laura
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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