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'Tower photo courtesy Meeker County; logo courtesy Native Voice One' Just a click away from home

NV1 takes over as major distributor of Native radio programs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The voice of Native America has become a lot stronger with the July 1 launch of Native Voice One. Based in Albuquerque, NV1 is already streaming Native programming around the world 24/7 via its Web site, www.nv1.org, and distributing material to 35 American Indian radio stations across the United States and Canada, as well as introducing mainstream radio outlets to Native programming.

Its offerings include Koahnic Broadcast Corporation productions, starting with the two best-known and longest-running Native radio programs in the country, National Native News and Native America Calling. Add Earthsongs (a weekly examination of contemporary Native music and artists), UnderCurrents (an eclectic mix of music with a strong foundation in indigenous/roots, rock, blues, folk and world music), Native Sounds-Native Voices (traditional and contemporary Native music), AlterNative Voices (Native music, interviews and news reports relevant to Indian country), Wisdom of the Elders (American Indian cultural magazine radio programs featuring tribal elders, historians, storytellers, artists, song carriers and environmentalists from 13 Native nations living in the Bitterroot Mountains and along the Columbia River), Voices from the Circle (a weekly program of Native news, music, issues, entertainment and storytelling from reservations and urban communities) and Reach the Rez Radio (high energy, hip hop and mix/talk show) – and the foundation of a growing cultural movement is taking shape.

The service’s ability to stream programs on its Web site means that not only will non-Native people be exposed to Native perspectives, music and broadcasting, but that Native people who do not have access to local tribal stations because they live in urban areas will have a point of contact with what’s happening on the reservations.

NV1 is a division of Koahnic, an Alaska Native media organization based in Anchorage. With a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the support of National Public Radio’s Public Radio Satellite System, NV1 has replaced American Indian Radio on Satellite as the nation’s major distributor of Native programming produced by tribal stations, radio stations such as Denver’s KUVO and Hoopa, California’s KIDE, independent producers and Koahnic itself.

Susan Braine, who started her radio career in 1978 at Zuni Pueblo radio station KSHI, is the chief operating officer for national programs under Koahnic.

Braine, Assiniboine/Hunkpapa Sioux, grew up on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in southeastern Montana and is enrolled on the Fort Peck Assiniboine Sioux Reservation. She has spent nearly 30 years working in Native radio. In addition to KSHI-FM in Zuni, N.M., she has managed KMXT-FM on Kodiak Island, Ala., and KSKO-AM in McGrath, Ala. She was instrumental in the on-air debut and initial management of the Three Affiliated Tribes’ KMHA-FM in Newtown, N.D.; KNBA-FM in Anchorage, Ala.; and, most recently, Hopi radio KUYI-FM in northern Arizona.

Over the years, Braine has been a major influence in the development of Native radio. She served as the first network manager for AIROS and on the boards of the Alaska Public Radio Network, Native American Public Telecommunications Inc. and the Public Radio Satellite System’s Distribution and Interconnection Committee. She presently sits on the board of the Native American Journalists Association. Braine has been with the national production and distribution unit in Albuquerque for more than five years.

“We are just so thrilled to offer this new service to listeners around the world and to local Native communities,” she said. Braine also explained that NV1 will be working with independent producers who are interested in developing material for national and international audiences. That is one of the most important ways NV1 can foster the dissemination of Native voices and viewpoints around the world and nurture up-and-coming artists and broadcasters.

Other team members at NV1 include Burton Poley, Hopi, who trained under Braine at KUYI and worked in operations at the Flagstaff public radio station KNAU, and is now NV1’s network manager; Nola Daves Moses, who serves as program manager; Camille Lacapa, Hopi/Ojibway, who is the station and audience relations manager; and David Newberger, Coeur d’Alene, NV1’s newest hire, who will be the Web producer. David Burnett, Hupa, helped develop the Web site and is responsible for NV1’s dramatic logo.