Will Cuts To Public Broadcasting Silence Native Radio Stations?

There are 60 stations licensed to tribes or tribal entities in the United States. They stand to lose a lot if Trump cuts federal funding.


Published:

KIDE station manager Joseph R. Orozco in the studio booth.

Photo Credit: Emilee Marshall, KIDE office manager

Eighty miles south of the Oregon border, along the Trinity River in Northern California, sits the 12-square-mile Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation.

Of the nearly 3,000 people living in the Hoopa Valley, approximately three-fourths are Native American. And the local radio station KIDE-FM caters to them, offering listeners live broadcasts of the Hoopa tribe’s general meetings; a local, award-winning, weekly show called “Health Matters”; and an array of national programming, including NPR newscasts and Native American public media shows.

Joseph R. Orozco, station manager of KIDE for the past 28 years, said the station, with a $200,000 annual budget, relies on funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides grants to tribal stations like his.

“Every year someone is threatening to reduce the funding or cut it out completely,” says Orozco. “And this time it’s really scary because they seem to be working on it.”

Since President Trump took office, his administration has kept the press on their toes. As a result, social media, television, and radio have been saturated with breaking news on the latest “alternative facts,” anti-press-freedom rhetoric, and flood of executive orders affecting immigration to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Now, according to The Hill, Trump may be setting his sights on funding cuts to organizations such as the CPB and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Should cuts take effect, tribal stations stand to lose a lot, as they rely heavily on CPB grant funding. There are 60 stations licensed to tribes or tribal entities in the United States, including commercial and public radio stations. Of these 60 stations, 35 are supported by the CPB’s Community Service Grant award, which matches each station’s yearly fiscal budget then doubles it. Of the government’s $445 million appropriation for the CPB in the 2017 fiscal year, about $7 million of CSG and additional grant support goes to tribal stations across the United States, according to the CPB.

“Our support of Native stations is part of a larger CPB mission,” says Letitia King, the organization’s senior vice president for corporate communications. That mission, she says, is “to provide public broadcasting to all Americans for free, commercial-free, and we have a special benefit for Native stations to ensure that they’re able to serve their communities.”

Given stations’ growing concerns about potential funding cuts, King urges tribal stations to continue to provide services to their communities. “That service is what is persuasive for the bipartisan support for public media,” she said, adding that the CPB has had a long track record of that support.

Loris A. Taylor, the president and CEO of Native Public Media, has kept a close eye on the developments. Funded through a CPB grant of its own, NPM provides aid to tribal governments and entities so that they can carry broadcast licenses; it is the organization’s mission to improve broadband access across Indian Country through media access and ownership.

This isn’t the first time the CPB has stood on shaky ground. Past threats to cut the organization’s funding ultimately fizzled, such as a highly publicized proposal under former President George W. Bush. But given the Trump administration’s apparent interest in privatizing public broadcasting, Taylor and others in public media worry about the future.

The worst-case scenario, according to Taylor, would be that small stations such as KIDE shut down without the CPB funding.

“I am hoping that that will not be the case,” she says. “We’re trying to do everything that we can in terms of alerting our small stations to get prepared to buffer up their resources, to look at other streams of revenue if they can.”

KYAY, San Carlos Apache Nation, San Carlos, Arizona. Photo Credit: Loris Taylor, President & CEO, Native Public Media.Before station fundraising and CSG grants kick into KIDE’s annual budget, the Hoopa Valley tribe contributes a little more than $94,000, Orozco says. Then the station raises another $6,000 from fundraising in order to reach the minimum $100,000 to be eligible for the CPB’s Community Service Grant. Under the station’s shoestring budget, Orozco has set in place cost-saving innovations.

KIDE was one of the first tribal radio stations in California to have a hybridized solar power system, which has allowed the station to cut back on electricity costs by 60 percent. And recently the station has begun to stream its broadcast service through its website. Still, KIDE requires funding for basic operations.

“We rely on the CPB funds to pay the electricity and telephone, plus all of our national programming that we get off the satellites,” says Orozco. “Our streaming, our website. Everything.”

Orozco has plans for the future of KIDE and continues to apply for additional grants to improve community engagement and participation with all of Hoopa Valley. He’s working on bringing back a call-in show, for instance, but that’s been held up by a long list of equipment repairs.

Taylor said she’s found over the years that communities place a lot of trust in and reliance on tribal stations, as the isolation of rural Indian Country can be compounded by a landscape where broadband access is limited.

This is more acutely felt in Alaska, says Jaclyn Sallee, president and CEO of Koahnic Broadcast Corporation and KNBA in Anchorage. Twelve of the 60 tribal stations in the United States are located in Alaska. Koahnic produces Native programming, which includes “National Native News,” “Native American Calling,” and “Earth Songs.” They distribute programming through Native Voice One to more than 350 radio stations across the country. Sallee says Koahnic and KNBA receive three separate grants from the CPB.

According to Sallee, state funding to public radio stations has been cut by 50 percent over the past two years.

“The local stations are a lifeline for listeners,” especially in remote regions where locals may rely on stations as their sole source for national, state, and local news or emergency information, Sallee says.

This is the case for KZPA-AM, Gwandak Public Broadcasting, Inc., which serves Fort Yukon, Alaska. Though the community’s population is estimated to be around 600, thousands have come to rely on the station’s programming because it’s one of few stations for miles around, says Vicky Thomas, KZPA’s office manager.

“We do a lot of search-and-rescue stuff that’s vital to our community, like missing people,” says Thomas. “During the springtime, we do flood watch, because our water has been very high, coming in at different locations.”

Thomas hopes the station’s budget will hold steady with CPB funding; she doesn’t believe KZPA could survive without it.

“Funding has been diminishing throughout the years,” she says. “We’re doing a lot of planning in case something like that happens.”

Back in the Lower 48, Orozco likens the importance of funding for tribal stations to an oft-forgotten federal trust responsibility between tribes and the United States. In his eyes, the United States has not done enough to reestablish tribal communication systems through stations like his.

“Native media is a sovereign right that was never returned to us,” says Orozco. “It is the fourth estate. The people need to have that balance. That’s what media does, be it a newspaper or radio."

Christine Trudeau wrote this article for YES! Magazine. Christine is a journalist and citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation of Mayetta, Kansas. Her work has appeared on NPR, National Native News, and in Native Peoples Magazine.

This article was republished from YES! Magazine.

See also:
Standing Rock: Where Love Prevails
Some “Unrecognized” Tribes Still Waiting After 130 Years

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

June 27, 2017

Stressful factors seem to multiply at every turn. Mental Mercury is overtaking Mars and the two stars both test Jupiter and Pluto. This T-square configuration has been an off and on factor for much of the year. It has ignited political instability as…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

June 2017

A one-day class facilitated by Reiki Shihan (Master-Teacher), Lou Orsan Reiki Level I is an introduction to the basic principles of traditional Usui Reiki. The skills learned are designed to...

Cost: $125

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

1 session remaining Explore ancient shamanic healing techniques in this safe, experiential workshop. Learn the basic, core technique of the shamanic journey, a visionary method used to...

Cost: $35 per session

Where:
Keene Unitarian Universalist Church
69 Washington Street
(and corner of Taylor Street)
Keene, NH
View map »


Sponsor: Cycles of Spirit Spiritualist Church & One Spirit Shamanic Arts
Contact Name: Jay Thomas
Website »

More information

HamletHub Whole New You Series Hearst Media Entertaining Conversations Series Member pre-sale begins Tuesday, May 2 at 10am Public sale Friday, May 5 at 10am After the show Tyler will do an...

Cost: $72.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Sue LaColla
Website »

More information

Sunday Reiki treatments with Reiki master and practitioner Linda Simons in Brookline, MA. Start your week off on a more balanced note with a Reiki treatment on a Sunday afternoon. Please join me...

Cost: Sliding Scale $20-$40

Where:
233 Harvard Street
Suite 36
Brookline, MA  02446
View map »


Telephone: 617-304-2205
Contact Name: LInda Simons
Website »

More information

You can sit with your favorite medium and get a message from your loved ones in spirit and experience the relaxation of Spiritual Healing with one of our trained healers (pets also welcome!) We...

Where:
Arlington Masonic Temple
19 Academy Street
Arlington, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Boston Church of Spiritualism
Telephone: 617-923-4334
Website »

More information

Prayer for Peace — Lao-Tse If there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities. If...

Cost: Donation / heart offering

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Qigong is an amazing practice for health, healing and inspiration. Qigong is a series of flowing and repeated movements, stretches and breathing exercises that are very easy to learn and may be...

Cost: Drop in $20 or purchase series card

Where:
The Yoga Depot
17 Depot Square
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: BodyWork Revolution
Telephone: 781-372-1000
Contact Name: Steve Cunningham
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

6/27, 7/11, 7/18 and 7/25 Creative movement class for ages 3-6. ​Kids dance and yoga class that uses imagination, exploration and creative movements to discover how their body works. Helps...

Cost: $18 - $50

Where:
YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
189 Main Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Telephone: 508-478-3333
Contact Name: BJ Hickson
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Slow down and relax your mind and body while engaging in a variety of mindfulness activities.  Tarot Card Readings available to the first 6 people who register. Being mindful is one of...

Cost: $20/$25

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Website »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

A Reiki Share is a gathering of Reiki practitioners who congregate for a combination social/healing session. The primary purpose of having a "share" is for practitioners to participate in...

Cost: $10

Where:
Open Doors
395 Washington Street
Braintree, MA  02170
View map »


Sponsor: Leslie Miller Jewett
Telephone: (857) 526-3301
Contact Name: Leslie Miller Jewett
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wild Vibes will be kicking off the seacoast summer with their fourth annual Wild Vibes Yoga Festival on July 1st at Spring Hill in South Berwick. A festival focused on bringing people back to their...

Cost: $15 - $65

Where:
Spring Hill
117 Pond Rd
South Berwick, ME  03908
View map »


Contact Name: Magnolia Barrett
Website »

More information

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags