A new Indigenous radio station called The Raven 89.3 began its first transmission this week.
The station will play hip hop, pop, blues, and classic rock.
“Anything but country,” said owner Bert Crowfoot.
Crowfoot owns the Alberta Aboriginal Multi-Media Society, and already owns CFWE radio, a country station which broadcasts in most of Alberta.
The Raven will be featuring Indigenous artists. The first song played on the station was from icon Buffy Sainte-Marie and her famous song Universal Soldier.
“We chose that one because of what happened in the middle of her career, when she was blacklisted,” said Crowfoot.
Saint Marie was blacklisted in the ‘60s and radio stations stopped playing her songs due to her anti-war stance.
Crowfoot said The Raven will feature five languages from across Nations in Alberta including; Cree, Blackfoot, Dene, Nakoda-Sioux and Michif.
“Our vignettes are bilingual. We have Conversational Cree and Conversational Nakota” said Crowfoot.
The station does not use any government money said Crowfoot.
The staff are currently part time, while the station grows. He expects to have full time staff before long.
Crowfoot said an elder called the program director the first day.
“He basically said, ‘I’ve lived in the city and this is the first time I’ve ever heard Dene on the air….Because I am missing that sound, because I’m from up north in High Level…And I’m missing my language.’”
Crowfoot said he’s hoping to expand The Raven beyond Edmonton in the future.