Fri Jul 24th, 2015
Robert L. Ortiz
The Southern Ute Drum
Categories: Top Stories
When listening to mainstream radio, ever wonder about the station’s history? Have you ever thought the same about tribal radio? The history of communication is timeless; communicating through the vast airwaves hasn’t really been around that long. Take a guess how long tribal radio has been in existence.
Wikipedia states: ‘Many people were involved in the invention of radio in its current form. Experimental work on the connection between electricity and magnetism began around 1820.’
Tribal radio has not been around that long, considering radio communications has been in existence since the late 1800’s.
Southern Ute Tribal Radio came into existence in 1976, KSUT being one of the first ‘native’ stations.
“We do a lot with limited resources,” Station Manager for KSUT Tribal Radio, Sheila Nanaeto said.
Considering KSUT started with a 10-watt transmitter, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe had the foresight to see the benefits of a tribal radio station. “Without the tribe’s foresight, the tribe thought KSUT was something good in the future,” Nanaeto said.
“Tribal members and community residents tune in to hear the ‘instant’ news, community bulletins and meetings notices,” Nanaeto continued. “They tune in to the station, as we provide direct communication to the [tribal] membership.”
KSUT now plans to spearhead the research and development of the ‘A History of Native American Public Radio’, utilizing the $15,000 grant KSUT received from Native Maker Media.
KSUT has a three-person advisory board overseeing the specifics of the documentary, gathering information from all 53-radio stations in Indian Country to tell the history of native public radio.
Federal funding comes to KSUT through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
This new grant will assist KSUT in the future.
“How long we have been here, what we provide and what we will continue to provide,” Nanaeto stated. “We want to shed the successes of tribal radio in Indian Country.”
“We will be able to tell our version of the story. People will watch the documentary and hopefully say ‘I never knew that,’ we want to educate through outreach to the people, giving them the experience of a true ‘tribal, native’ radio station.
KSUT’s advisory committee on the documentary will have exclusive control over what will be created. Scriptwriter and editor for the documentary will be Deni Luna from Seattle, WA.
“She has generously donated $5000 worth of her time, through an in-kind donation, to help us with the documentary,” Nanaeto said. “Not only will she be assisting us with writing and editing, she has agreed to help train Lorena Richards and myself to learn the different aspects of creating a documentary.” Richards is the Music Director for KSUT Tribal Radio.
The documentary will be a four-part series, of the history of tribal radio stations and will contain archive photos, audio clips and samples, as well as call letters of the 53 radio stations in Indian Country.
Vision Maker Media agreements are underwritten by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and intended for public television distribution. PBS will maintain exclusive rights for four years after the completion of the film.
KSUT Tribal radio is located on your local radio dial at 91.3 FM in Ignacio, and on KUUT 89.7 FM in Farmington and the Four Corners. KSUT is also broadcast, streaming live at www.KSUT.org.