Editor's Blog - How we work, how we make decisions, how we serve Canadians.

Jennifer McGuire

General Manager and Editor in Chief

Serving Canada's north - excellence in 8 aboriginal languages

Categories: Canada


CBC News operates from nearly 50 locations across the country and around the world. Most Canadians are aware of the bigger stations like Toronto and Vancouver that produce news stories and programs for radio, television and digital platforms. But many of you are not as familiar with our smaller operations.

CBC North is one of them, a small team that serves a very large community, helping to make our service truly coast to coast to coast.This week they were recognized by the Canadian Association of Journalists, the first time ever a Cree language broadcast has won a CAJ award.

Janice Stein, Managing Director of CBC North, takes it from here:


In awards announced this weekend by the Canadian Association of Journalists, there was surprise and pride when a CBC North program called Maamuitaau won the regional television award for its story Breaking the Mold. It told the story of lesions and skin diseases some children experience in a small community in northern Quebec, due to mold in their homes.

The surprise in the announcement was that the story aired in Cree (with English subtitles). Maamuitaau is a half-hour TV current affairs show that broadcasts weekly in the Cree language.Our small Cree team at CBC North also broadcasts a daily morning show and a daily noon program on CBC Radio One, in Cree, to communities around the James Bay region.

In fact CBC Radio One broadcasts programming in eight aboriginal languages, across northern Canada.

If you want to listen to Tlicho, or Inuktitut, or Inuvialuktun, or Chipewyan, or Slavey, or Gwich'in, or Cree... tune in, take a listen, you'll be surprised at how much you will enjoy our hosts... talking to an elder, telling you the weather and the news, or playing a bit of country music. The character of the human voice comes through no matter what the language.

These are some of the talented journalists and technicians who cover the North: Abraham Tagalik, Aseena Mablick, Rosie Simonfalvy, Alec Gordon, Robert Kabvitok, Eemeellayou Arnaquq, Melissa Natachequan, Joshua Loon, Annie Goose, Leitha Kochon, Ruth Carroll, Harriet Paul, Peter Hope, Tony Buggins, Rassi Nashalik.

 Rassi Nashalik, host, CBC News: Igalaaq In Nunavut, we broadcast much of the day in Inuktitut, from early in the morning until the evening, on radio. On TV, we broadcast a daily half-hour of news in Inuktitut. You should watch Rassi present Igalaaq sometime. Her teleprompter has scripts in English yet what comes out of her mouth is Inuktitut. Rassi calls it sight translation. I call it amazing.

At CBC North all of this is possible because of the determination of a very small group of programmers. For the most part the radio programs are one-person operations. The hosts find the guests, choose their music, do the show lineups, host their shows and operate the studio boards themselves. They do it in all kinds of conditions. Last year Peter Hope set up in -40 degree temperatures in Fort Providence to broadcast live in Slavey from the opening of the Deh Cho bridge link from Yellowknife to Edmonton. Last year Tony Buggins grabbed his mike and set up for three days in Fort Resolution to broadcast in Chipewyan about cancer in the community. Leitha Kochon and Harriet Paul set up shop in the small community of Whati for a week to broadcast their shows daily from the Dene Nation Assembly in North Slavey and Tlicho.

You can check out their programs at www.cbc.ca/north.

Here is a sample of the radio programs:

Nunavut (Inuktitut).  Weekdays
Qulliq               0700-1000ET
Tausunni.         1330-1500ET
Tuttavik.           1505-1600ET
Sinnaksautit.    2230-2300ET

Nord Quebec (Cree).
Winschgaoug.         0730-0900ET
Eyou Dipajimoon.    1200-1300ET

Northwest Territories. Inuvik:
Nantaii-Gwich'in.                        1300-1400MT
Le Got'She Deh-North Slavey.     1400-1500MT
Tusaavik-Inuvialuktun.                 1500-1600MT

Tide Gode-Tlicho.                         1300-1400MT
Le Got'She Deh-South Slavey.      1400-1500MT
Dene Dayalti'l-Chipewyan.            1500-1600MT

Tags: How We Work

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