CKLB radio in jeopardy while awaiting federal funding
N.W.T. aboriginal station facing potential shutdown
N.W.T.'s aboriginal radio station, CKLB, is facing a potential shutdown as crucial funding from the federal government has been slow coming this year.
CKLB broadcasts in five languages to 30 communities in the N.W.T. and Northern Alberta.
"It's so important because a lot of the languages are in decline and a lot of governments and different organizations, they say how important it is to preserve, maintain and revitalize the language, but that's what we do on a daily basis here," says program director Deneze Nakehk'o.
Nakehk'o says CKLB is in jeopardy if the funding from the federal government's National Aboriginal Broadcast Program doesn't come through soon.
The station usually receives about $600,000 annually, but Nakehk'o says the money rarely arrives at the start of the fiscal year.
The federal Department of Canadian Heritage said in an email that all applications for the 2014/2015 fiscal year are still being assessed.
"Our plan right now is to go after our listeners to see if we can get some support in donations in order to keep operational, plus have an even more aggressive advertising campaign in order to generate revenue as well," says Nakehk'o.
But he says if the federal funding for the current fiscal year doesn't arrive soon, the station may have to shut down by the end of July.
In 2012, the station's funding for the 2012/2013 fiscal year was nine months late, forcing it to shut down for five days in December. In that case, Canadian Heritage said it was waiting for necessary documents from the station.