Broadcasting the Indigenous next wave

Student outlines Indigenous radio show project for the upcoming academic year

“I really like an empowered sense of normalization of Indigenous culture and people,” said Innes. Emily Blizzard/Submitted

The CHMA lineup, a diverse and ever-changing rotation of Mount Allison students’ culture and musical taste, is seeing a few new additions to its roster this year. Bryenton Innes hopes to start a radio show through CHMA 106.9 FM centred around Canadian and American Indigenous music.

Innes grew up in Lakelands, N.S., and his family is of the Anishinaabe tribe of White Fish, Ont. He grew up surrounded by the sounds and teaching of Indigenous music and drew inspiration from artists like Buffy Sainte-Marie and Derek Miller.

“It never crossed my mind that [Miller] was cool because he’s Indigenous,” said Innes. For him, it was just something he heard every day and enjoyed. He has fond memories of travelling to a gas station with his father and listening to these artists.

Now in his fifth year at Mt. A, Innes is hoping to start an Indigenous music radio show featuring the works of Indigenous artists from Canada and the United States. The show is a personal project for him, as he hopes to outline his streams of thought on popular Indigenous art by sharing genres of Indigenous music. He wants to focus on how genres are connected through political and symbolic messages.

“The focus of the show will mainly be on the music, but I also plan on throwing in some stories and bits of culture as well,” said Innes. He says that his show will be similar in style to that of Reclaimed with Jarrett Martineau on CBC Radio.

Through this radio show, Innes intends to get the word out about the Indigenous next wave, a surge of artists reclaiming and sharing their cultures with the world. “I really like an empowered sense of normalization of Indigenous culture and people,” said Innes. “I love that we have Indigenous artists winning Juno Awards and Polaris Prizes and things, but I look forward to getting to the point where these artists are in the same running as anyone else.”

Innes also wants his radio show to reach anyone who is looking to spruce up their Friday-night playlist. Sackville is a great place for this kind of project as the town celebrates new music from every direction. “If they’re looking for something new to incorporate into the regular shuffle and if they’re interested in being an Indigenous ally, then I hope they tune in,” he said.

In addition to Innes’ radio show, the journey towards truth and reconciliation at Mt. A. is progressing. On Friday, the geography and environment department hosted the opening ceremony for the Indigenous gardens on campus. In November, the Mount Allison Performing Arts Series will welcome award-winning Indigenous artist Jeremy Dutcher. The culture and diversity in terms of music within Sackville seems to grow annually, and Innes’ radio show is just one of many platforms for education and reconciliation at Mt. A.

Mt. A’s own campus radio station broadcasts a variety of programming from students and community members. Self-described as “the Voice of the Marshes,” it has something for everyone. The schedule includes both open-format and specialty music shows, and even programs centred around academics.

If you’re also interested in hosting a radio show through CHMA, it’s easy to get involved by emailing [email protected]. Be sure to keep an eye out for Innes’ show on the CHMA schedule.

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