Tribal Radio Station

Copyright Confederated Umatilla journal Jan 31, 2004

The long-awaited Tribal radio station will become a reality when it goes on the air at 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 2.

Under the call letter KCUW, the low power station will operate at 101.1 FM and is expected to reach much of the Umatilla Reservation and parts of Pendleton, according to Debra Croswell, Communications Director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Listeners can tune in during the lunch hour on Feb. 2 to hear the station's first live broadcast, which will include interviews with community members and CTUIR official, plus music, news and promotional giveaways.

Following the live kick-off, the community is invited from 1-7 p.m. to an open house behind Wildhorse Casino on the east end of the maintenance building. Visitors may drop by for a studio tour and refreshments. Visitors should enter at the main Wildhorse Resort entrance and follow the signs.

The Programming scheduled is still being developed, but the station will carry a variety of locally-generated music, news, sports and community programs, as well as nationally generated satellite programs such as Native America Calling, National Native News and Native Sounds Native Voices.

The community station will be staffed primarily by volunteer disc jockeys who will entertain listeners with a variety of traditional and contemporary music, including native groups, hiphop, rhythm and blues, jazz, rock, classical, country and other genres.

Several news and community affairs programs are planned that will keep the Umatilla Reservation community informed of local events and issues.

The station plans to do live remote broadcasts from various community events such as pow-wows and basketball tournaments, and some Tribal government meetings may also be transmitted over the airwaves.

The station is seeking additional volunteers to play music, develop and deliver news, and cover sports and community events. DJ volunteers may play the music of their choice or fill time slots where certain types of music, news and other programs are needed. DJ Volunteers are also needed to conduct community affairs, news and other programs.

Training will be provided to volunteers prior to them going on the air.

Volunteers who do not want to be on the air are also welcome. Assistance is needed in developing and maintaining the programming schedule, coordinating volunteer schedules, maintaining files required by the Federal Communications Commission, soliciting underwriting donations from local businesses, promoting the station and other office tasks.

Anyone interested in volunteering at KCUW should contact Croswell via email at

Volunteers are invited to help assemble and test the studio equipment, which will be installed under the leadership of the Prometheus Radio Project - consultants who specialize in helping communities developing low-power FM station.

Construction of the studio will take place during the week of Jan. 19 and volunteers are invited to participate any time during the week.

Further details about the studio build, including hours when CTUIR staff and Prometheus consultants will be on site, will be posted on the KCUW web site or are available by calling the CTUIR Communications office.

Following the studio assembly and testing, training for KCUW volunteers will be held on Jan. 24 and 25 at the studio. Prometheus Radio Project staff will provide training on how to operate the studio equipment, staying in compliance with FCC regulations (what you can and can't say on the air, for example), and other on-air techniques.

Anyone wanting to participate in the training should contact Croswell to sign up.
Article copyright 2004 Confederated Umatilla Journal.