Unreserved hits national airwaves on CBC Radio One

Unreserved is an insightful and sometimes irreverent look at indigenous Canada “comin’ atchu” through the voice of host Rosanna Deerchild. And now it will be heard nationally beginning later this summer.

Host Rosanna Deerchild offers up an insightful and sometimes irreverent look at indigenous Canada

Rosanna an award-winning Cree author with over 15 years of broadcast experience. (Wawmeesh Hamilton)

Unreserved is an insightful and sometimes irreverent look at indigenous Canada "comin' atchu" via host Rosanna Deerchild.

The show will premiere across the county on August 30, at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m NT), on CBC Radio One.

"A national radio show featuring Indigenous Peoples and stories is long overdue and a welcome voice in a diverse country," says Deerchild.

Deerchild is an award-winning Cree author and has been a broadcaster for almost 15 years — including stints with NCI-FM, APTN, CBC Radio, Global and a variety of indigenous newspapers. She hails from South Indian Lake, Manitoba.

"We're very happy to have Unreserved and Rosanna coming to the network," said Cindy Witten, the interim executive director of CBC radio and audio.  

"Unreserved gives us a full portrait of aboriginal cultures and lives lived across the country through great conversations with some very cool people."

Although several limited radio series have aired on the network, including ReVision Quest and Trailbreakers, there hasn't been an indigenous-focused regular show since Thomas King's Dead Dog Cafe. The popular 15-minute comedy show that was fictional, for the most part, aired from 1997-2000.

However, unlike the Dead Dog Cafe, Unreserved shares real stories, "our joy and our struggles," says Deerchild.  

The hour-long show has been airing regionally in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and the Yukon since its launch in October.

I am honoured to host what will be a meeting ground for all Canadians.- Rosanna Deerchild, host of Unreserved

Unreserved has welcomed guests like the Juno award winning musician Murray Porter, cellist Cris Derksen, actors Tantoo Cardinal and Nathaniel Arcand, National Chief Perry Bellegarde, and community movers and shakers like Candy Palmater, Niigaan Sinclair, and Alan Greyeyes.

Each of them have brought personal insight and brilliant stories to the airwaves.

There has only been one other show, similar to Unreserved, that aired from coast to coast to coast, in the 1970s and early 80s. Our Native Land, formerly called Indian Magazine, welcomed guests to discuss everything from residential school to politics to land claims.

One of the hosts of Our Native Land was the late Bernelda Wheeler. Ironically, her daughter-in-law, Kim Wheeler, is one of the producers for Unreserved.

Deerchild joins prestigious company as one of only a few indigenous hosts to have a regular show on CBC Radio One.

"I am honoured to host what will be a meeting ground for all Canadians," she says.

Unreserved is produced in Winnipeg by Wheeler, Anna Lazowski and Cate Friesen. If you can't wait until August 30th, than you can listen to past episodes of Unreserved here.