City get­ting In­dige­nous ra­dio sta­tion

Reg­u­la­tor OKs five new sta­tions across the coun­try

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - TORONTO - Gil­bert ngabo metro | Toronto

Toronto air­waves are about to get an In­dige­nous ad­di­tion.

The Cana­dian Ra­dio-tele­vi­sion and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion (CRTC) an­nounced Wed­nes­day the ap­proval of a li­cence to cre­ate the First Peo­ples Ra­dio Inc. in Toronto. This is one of the five sta­tions ap­proved to op­er­ate in Cal­gary, Ed­mon­ton, Ot­tawa and Van­cou­ver.

In its de­ci­sion to grant the li­cences, CRTC said it was “ful­fill­ing an ur­gent need” to have ra­dio sta­tions where con­tent is fo­cused on In­dige­nous peo­ple in ur­ban com­mu­ni­ties.

“I am ec­static that the good news has fi­nally come,” said Jean Paul Gladu, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Toronto-based Cana­dian Coun­cil for Abo­rig­i­nal Busi­ness.

He said over 50 per cent of the In­dige­nous pop­u­la­tion lives in ur­ban cen­tres, and Toronto is home to nearly 80,000 In­dige­nous peo­ple.

“That’s a sig­nif­i­cant part of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, and it’s great to have con­tent that re­flects our cul­ture,” Gladu said.

It’s also im­por­tant that, at a time when the coun­try is in the process of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, cities get a plat­form that pays at­ten­tion to In­dige­nous is­sues, he said.

Abo­rig­i­nal Peo­ples Tele­vi­sion Net­work (APTN), which was be­hind the ap­pli­ca­tion Jean Paul Gladu for the First Peo­ples Ra­dio Inc., ex­pects to hit the Toronto and Ot­tawa air­waves in the next ten months.

“First Peo­ples Ra­dio will hold true to its orig­i­nal in­spi­ra­tion — to fill the gap for ur­ban Abo­rig­i­nal Peo­ples who feel that ex­ist­ing sta­tions don’t re­flect their pres­ence in the com­mu­nity,” the group wrote in a state­ment.

Non-In­dige­nous peo­ple in Toronto also stand to ben­e­fit from the new ra­dio sta­tion, said Sam Kloet­stra, a youth co­or­di­na­tor with Toronto In­dige­nous Health Ad­vi­sory Cir­cle.

“It’s go­ing to be easy for them to get in touch with us and learn what’s go­ing on in our com­mu­nity,” he said, not­ing a rich oral tradition keeps In­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties closer to­gether.

He also sees an op­por­tu­nity for In­dige­nous artists to bring their cre­ativ­ity to a higher level.

“We’re in a re­nais­sance of In­dige­nous tal­ent and peo­ple are rec­og­niz­ing that value,” he said.

“This ra­dio sta­tion gives them a voice.”

in­for­ma­tion and knowl­edge­shar­ing is key to suc­cess, which is what this ra­dio sta­tion brings.

Toronto’s new ra­dio sta­tion as an op­por­tu­nity for In­dige­nous artists. sees

Ed­uardo LIma/mETro

sam Kloet­stra, a youth co­or­di­na­tor with toronto in­dige­nous Health ad­vi­sory cir­cle,

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