Native Communications Incorporated, also known as NCI, is celebrating a half century of broadcasting in northern Manitoba.
It hit the airwaves in September 1971 when Indigenous voices in any media were lacking.
“They can hear themselves, they know the community,” says CEO David McLeod. “There doesn’t need to be an explanation they know.”
The station started in Thompson, about 750 km due north of Winnipeg.
It grew quickly into a network of 57 transmitters broadcasting across the province funded by a weekly radio bingo program.
McLeod says Don McIvor was instrumental in getting the whole thing started.
“I think that’s what’s so important about the Indigenous voice and the Indigenous stories is because when it comes from the community there’s a different grasp and understanding particularly when it comes to language and culture and those things,” says McLeod.