Nuxalk Radio is the subject of a new exhibition at the University of British Columbia’s Irving K. Barber Centre in Vancouver.
The exhibit, entitled “Nuxalk Radio: One Nation, Many Voices,” was curated by UBC students in Instructor Jennifer Kramer’s Anthropology 431 Class, “Museum Practice and Curatorship.”
The students worked under the guidance and permission of the Alkw Media Society and the Nuxalk Radio Board.
Nuxalk Radio was launched si7mt (summer solstice) June 21, 2014 with the slogan: Lhulhamktulhs ala ts’ktaliwalh alh ti s-kulhulmcilh t’ayc n wa sulutilh ats (Broadcasting the laws of the lands and waters).
It is a non-commercial community radio station broadcasting on 91.1 FM from the Nuxalk village of Q’umk’uts’ (Bella Coola) and online.
Since its inception, Nuxalk Radio has grown to feature numerous live shows by local hosts and tackled a multitude of topics relevant to Indigenous people living here in Bella Coola and beyond.
Nuxalk Radio hosts have interviewed well-known Indigenous scholars, artists, and activists from across the country, and its following continues to grow.
One of the main intentions of the radio is to promote Nuxalk language use. It aims increase the fluency of semi-fluent Nuxalk language speakers, inspire new language learners, raise the prestige of the language and reaffirm the fact that the Nuxalk language is relevant today.
Nuxalkmc Roland Mack has been with the station since 2016. He says working at Nuxalk Radio has changed his life.
“Being a radio host to me has changed my life entirely, I remember walking into the station knowing about three to four Nuxalk words to expanding my vocabulary to sentences,” Mack said. “Being a host has given me a voice I never knew I had, it’s given me power and I use that power to inspire generations behind and also ahead of me. Nuxalk Radio is more than a station, it’s an empire we will continue building upon for the years to come.”
15 UBC students took part in the course and the results were profound. One of the students, Nathan Clark, said the central role of Nuxalk Radio in the community was very obvious.
“It’s great to see how central of a role Nuxalk Radio has within the community, and its projects surrounding engagement with elders with language continuity and preservation is absolutely amazing, and it’s great to see it as an active agent, breaking what most people see radio as: something to listen to on the commute,” said Clark “For the Nuxalk, the radio station is a place of communication, education, history, and of course, of entertainment.”
The exhibition is running from March 1- April 3, 2018 at the Irving K Barber Learning Centre at UBC.