It was not long ago that the area now known as northern Saskatchewan was largely untouched by the onset of European culture. Before the arrival of the first fur traders, missionaries, and settlers to the area, the indigenous population forged its’ own settlements along the banks of Missinipi and its’ connecting systems.
In the days before telephones, highways, and radios, the people of northern Saskatchewan traveled Missinipi and its’ myriad of tributaries from settlement to settlement. Communication before the imposition of modern civilization was achieved through visits back and forth between communities, via these rivers and streams.
Stories, news, current events and other information flowed as freely as the water. It was through this system that the community of northern Saskatchewan, and its’ varied cultures, developed over a period of countless generations.
By the time French and English bloodlines had become intertwined with the Cree in some areas, creating the distinct Metis heritage, the practice of visiting was already an ages old, vital, and unifying component of the various tribal lineages of the north.
Just as its’ name signifies the commonly used term for the ancient waterways of northern Saskatchewan (now known as the Churchill and North Saskatchewan River systems), Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation represents the adaptation of aboriginal cultures to the usage of modern technologies as a means of communication, virtual “travel”, and preservation of culture through the use of language. Where in the past people relied on physical travel between communities to learn the latest happenings, Missinipi, in effect, “brings the people to the people” via radio broadcasts heard throughout the north.
The existence of such a communications service represents more than just an attempt at replicating the types of programming available from radio stations to the south. Indeed, the aboriginal radio network, as it’s come to be known, is a logical extension of the people’s heritage as a visiting culture, an oral people whose very nature is to keep in touch with each other through whatever means possible. The success of MBC as a service created to provide an aboriginal radio service is testimonial to the culture’s oral traditions, and the appropriateness of its’ representation in this modern context.
MBC is dedicated to the preservation and stimulation of aboriginal cultures of Saskatchewan. Through use of aboriginal languages, coverage of significant meetings, events, and activities, remotes, panel discussions, special projects, and more, MBC provides a vital service to the communities of the North, and to an ever-expanding audience in central and southern parts of the province.