After years of discussing the possibility, it’s now a reality. The Cree Radio Network can now be heard on the Internet.
“We worked on it seriously this time around,” said Luke MacLeod, Executive Director of the James Bay Cree Communications Society.
MacLeod said going online was something that was needed. “There have been people who inquired about it. Especially students who go to school down south. When we first put up our website people asked if we were going to put radio on it.”
MacLeod said the answer was yes and with high-speed Internet service in Mistissini the CRN was able not only to be heard on the airwaves but over the web.
But MacLeod encourages all people to visit their website for more than just the radio. “The website offers a chance to be in touch with the people outside of Eeyou Istchee for one thing. There are a lot of students and it gives them an opportunity to know what’s going on in the communities. There’s a lot of people internationally who are interested, like people such as the other Cree nations, First Nations people and other aboriginal groups internationally. When I worked with the local radio station there were people in the past, such as the Lap Landers, who used to suggest to us to make tapes and send them to their radio stations. Now they can just pick us up on the web,” said MacLeod.
MacLeod remembers the Lap Landers fondly. “They came to visit once years ago here in Mistissini and one of the people who were with them was one of their top radio people. He wanted us to make tapes and exchange them so that they could air them and send us tapes so we could air them. He said there was a lot of similiarties in our two cultures. So there’s great interest among First Nations across the globe to keep in touch with each other,” said Macleod.
MacLeod said the web radio will offer some of that. He acknowledges that it is brand new and they will have to see what opportunities it brings. Macleod said one of the great things about the web radio is that “it’s a means by where our language can be heard and preserved. It’s something we’ve been able to adapt in our culture very well.”
MacLeod said preservation and enhancement of the Cree language and culture is one of the reasons he is proud to be in radio. “That’s why I like the story telling on the radio. We’ve done a lot in preserving our language and I think this is another way that we can go and promote it to the world too; to show them that our language and our culture are alive.”
To listen to Cree radio, surf to: www.creeradionetwork.com, then click on Winradio.