CRTC grants five new licenses for Indigenous communities

Following the launch of the new stations, the CRTC will initiate a review of its current Indigenous radio policy.

Five new radio stations will serve Indigenous communities across Canada following the granting of new licenses by the CRTC.

Northern Native Broadcasting will launch out of Vancouver, Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta will go live in both Edmonton and Calgary and First Peoples Radio Inc. will begin broadcasting in Ottawa and Toronto.

The five stations represent a response to an urgent need for Indigenous content identified by the CRTC. None of these markets have had a station entirely devoted to Indigenous people and culture since 2015, according to an announcement from the regulator.

Northern Native Broadcasting will air on 106.3 FM; Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta on 89.3 FM in Edmonton and 88.1 FM in Calgary; First Peoples Radio Inc. on 95.7 FM in Ottawa and on 106.5 FM in Toronto.

According to the CRTC’s current framework, the new stations must reflect the communities they serve, provide a large portion of local coverage and deal with Indigenous-specific concerns. Part of the spoken programming must also be in an Indigenous language.

Following the launch of the stations, the CRTC will soon initiate a review of its Indigenous radio policy to ensure that the regulatory framework effectively reflects the realities of Indigenous-run radio stations.