Northern broadcasters give curriculum advice

Northern broadcasters give curriculum advice

Photo: FNUniv researcher Jamin Mike gathers input from Gerry Greyeyes of Ahtakakoop CKRE-FM. Photo by Shannon Avison.

What should the next generation of Indigenous broadcasters learn? This was a question put to members of the Saskatchewan Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters at a gathering in Prince Albert August 23-24. 

Though socially distanced, the conversations were lively and informative. “The advice we heard  is absolutely key to designing courses that are directly beneficial to local communities,” said Shannon Avison, coordinator of the Indigenous Communication Arts (INCA)  program at First Nations University of Canada.   

Avison is leading a research study into the training and recruitment needs of Indigenous language broadcasters. Twenty hosts and station managers participated in small group discussions at the SAAB conference. 

Prior to the gathering, research assistants conducted over 30 interviews by Zoom and telephone during the past year. The interviews, conducted in Cree, Dene, Michif and English,  provide many insights into the challenges of recruiting and preparing young language speakers for community broadcasting. 

The research, which is supported by a grant from the Inspirit Foundation, is already helping shape classes offered, with greater focus on topics like station management, fundraising and best practices for teaching languages on the air.

“Our goal is to help build curricula that will support the growth of Indigenous language broadcasting and can be adapted to any location or language,” said Avison.

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