CKRZ-FM, Aboriginal, Ohsweken

Nishinaabeg Indigenous Communications Society

CKRZ-FM1987100.3250Nishinaabeg Indigenous Communications Society


On December 2, Amos Key on behalf of a not-for-profit native organization, was awarded a licence for a predominantly English-language FM station at Ohsweken. It would operate on a frequency of 100.3 MHz and have an effective radiated power of 250 watts. The station planned to offer eight hours a week of Native-language content.


CKRZ-FM “The Voice of the Grand” signed on the air. It was a low powered, native owned (community) and operated FM radio station, located on the Six Nations of the Grand River reservation which was made up of two native communities – the Six Nations and the Mississaugas of  the New Credit.


CKRZ now operated under the (corporate) name Southern Onkwehon: We Nishinaabeg Indigenous Communications Society. CKRZ survived mainly through radio-bingo fundraisers, and was on the air 18 hours daily.

The station set up new temporary facilities in what was the Bright Feather Laundromat. The studio had been located in the basement of the old RCMP building and the office was at another location a half mile away. There were hopes for a brand new facility in the future. 


CKRZ-FM left the air. The plug was pulled because of a $100,000 debt. The station’s six employees were released at 6:00 p.m. on February 1. CKRZ went on the air 22 years ago with a ten watt transmitter and donated equipment. Over time, it became known as the “Voice of Rez” and listeners dubbed it as the “CNN of Rez Radio” for its coverage during the Caledonia land protests. 

CKRZ-FM resumed broadcasting on February 12.


On November 10, the CRTC approved the application by CKRZ to increase ERP from 250 to 5,000 watts. It would continue to operate at 100.3 MHz. CKRZ stated that the proposed technical changes were necessary to address the station’s poor reception and to provide better coverage to its listening audience. It added that CKRZ’s ERP of 250 watts was insufficient to provide clear reception to its existing audience and throughout the region inhabited by the Six Nations.

The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.

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