Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ewipkek Radio from Flat Bay

On January 19 and 20, 2012, The Flat Bay Band Council hosted a historic community radio event, the first Mi'kmaq radio broadcast in Newfoundland.

Over the 2-day broadcast, youth and elders came together to share stories, music and traditional knowledge from the community.  Students from the College of the North Atlantic Community Studies program were also welcomed into the community and assisted in the broadcast, providing technical support with the broadcast and social media promotion.

Some highlights of the broadcast included:
  • Knowledge about traditional Mi'kmaq drumming with the help of members from Grandmother Drum, Flat Bay's Women's Drumming Circle, and listeners enjoyed recorded and live performances from them.
  • A history of the Mi'kmaq in Flat Bay was read online by Elder Calvin White and his nephew Ivan.
  • Information about the upcoming Flat Bay Pow-Wow, taking place July13-15, 2012, and gave listeners a detailed account of what a Pow-Wow was, its importance for the community, and how it worked.  Including a discussion of Pow-Wow traditions and expected behaviour of participants.  
  • An interview with Chief Liz LaSaga
In addition to the FM broadcast, Ewipkek Radio was simulcast online, and social media tools were implemented to engage participants from away.  Facebook and Twitter were used to promote the event and solicit greetings; the Twitter hashtag #flatbayradio was active with over 40 tweets being tagged.  People from Flat Bay who were located elsewhere in the country and world tuned in indicated they were so happy to bring a piece of Flat Bay into their homes and offices for those broadcast days.

Between January 18 and 21 our Facebook page recorded visits from the following towns in Newfoundland: St. John's, Stephenville, Corner Brook, Bell Island, Branch, Mount Pearl, Fogo, Placentia, Baie Verte, Witless Bay and Bonne Bay.

Across Canada, people checked out the broadcast from: Halifax, Winnipeg, Yellowknife, Ottawa, Fredericton, Niagara Falls and Toronto.

Globally, people tuned in from the USA, Greece and Kreuzberg, Berlin.

Ryakuga was honored to be a part of this historic event.  We hope that it is the first of many community broadcasts from within the Mi'kmaq community, in Newfoundland and the whole Atlantic region.

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