The Voice of Denendeh has been largely silent since Yellowknife-based aboriginal broadcaster CKLB radio went off the air last August. It now broadcasts pre--programmed country music and ads from the South, despite receiving almost half a million dollars in federal funding since it shut down.
At the time it shut down, CKLB officials said the station had no choice because federal funding was late arriving.
But according to the Department of Canadian Heritage, federal funding has been flowing into CKLB since shortly after it went off the air and laid off most of its staff.
That includes $100,000 in August, $242,000 in September and $121,000 in November, for a total of $463,000.
That's just the funding it's received from one federal department.
According to CKLB’s financial statements for the 2011-2012 fiscal year — the most recent the station has filed — in that year, CKLB received $325,000 from the territorial government and CanNor.
The station has failed to submit paperwork to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. It told the commission that onerous filing requirements and staff shortages were to blame for the failure.
The CBC attempted to speak to CKLB, but neither the CEO nor chairman of the Native Communications Society, which oversees CKLB, responded to calls and emails.
Not first time
This is not the first time the broadcaster has gone off the air.
Two years ago, the station was off the air for five days over the Christmas holidays.
A message posted to the station's website said it had to shut down because federal funding it normally gets was nine months late.
In that instance, a spokesperson for Canadian Heritage said the delay was due to missing paperwork.