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Indigenous radio during the pandemic

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

From the start of the pandemic, Indigenous radio stations on otherwise isolated tribal lands have often been the most reliable source of local information on COVID-19. From March 2020, tribal stations produced and disseminated local updates and Public Service Announcements, providing information on multiple services such as elder shopping hours, food deliveries, testing services and vaccination clinics.

Many Indigenous stations also enabled emotional support by providing opportunities for participation in the form of virtual on-air community events ranging from local music performances to virtual graduation ceremonies to livestreamed Tribal Council meetings.

I talked with radio practitioners from Hopi station KUYI FM about their COVID programming in 2020--read more here: ‘"Our Hearts Through Our Voices": Community Building in Hopi Radio During COVID-19', published by the ACME Journal for Critical Geographies.

In '‘Welcome to a Coronavirus production’: Beyond Bows and Arrows’ Indigenous on-air community-building during lockdown', I explore community-building in the context of COVID on the long-running Beyond Bows and Arrows radio show, broadcast from Dallas since 1983. The article was published by the International Journal of Cultural Studies in August 2022.

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