Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TRR (Exploring Tribal Representation across American Indian-produced radio in US Reservation and Urban Contexts)
Reporting period: 2019-09-16 to 2020-09-15
Through exploring radio content and community-led production, incorporating talk radio, cultural preservation programming, diverse tribal and other music genre programming, first language programming and seasonally-specific programming, I analyse various ways in which this programming enables tribal community self-representation through place-based production, and how it can contribute therefore to Indigenous self-determination. Deliverables include mapping radio provision for Indigenous communities across the US and developing community-led research with tribal radio stations in ways which will benefit the station, radio practitioners and local tribal communities.
What has also emerged is the need to ensure that research objectives at each proposed research site—radio stations on tribal lands or reservations—can be of clear benefit to the tribal communities involved. Again, drawing on my emergent critical framework and its emphasis on Indigenous theoretical approaches, it became clear that this research must embody decolonizing objectives, which form a central tenet of Indigenous critical theory.
I have completed two outputs at time of writing: an article exploring one tribal radio station’s production of community-facing programming in response to COVID-19; and an interactive map illustrating Indigenous radio stations in the US. While established Indigenous organisations such as the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), Native Public Media and Native Voice One (NV1) also map tribal radio as part of their wider coverage of Indigenous media networks in the US, the new map produced through the TRR project is smaller in focus in only covering tribal radio, so can incorporate a further interactive component linking to audio streams of the stations represented in most cases. This interactive map aims to amplify Indigenous radio through illustrating its reach and linking directly to live radio streams, and can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/MappingIndigenousRadio
Finally, led by practitioner participants in the stations I was able to connect with before the advent of COVID-19, we have developed two proposed projects to be implemented further when it becomes safe to visit and meet onsite with tribal radio practitioners again.
Longer-ranging impact is additionally generated by the production of an online, interactive map of tribal radio stations, not included in my original Fellowship proposal but subsequently developed in consultation with tribal radio practitioners who indicated such a map would be a useful resource, providing access to and information about tribal stations not otherwise comprehensively available in a single resource: https://tinyurl.com/MappingIndigenousRadio
This map comprises an accessible, public-facing output which will continue to be updated; in future, the map’s scope can be extended to incorporate Indigenous radio stations and shows globally, to reinforce the comparative elements and contribution of the overall research.
Finally, continuing the practice of reciprocal research, I have committed to sharing all outputs with tribal practitioners in advance of publication for their input and feedback, and to then publish these in open-access platforms where they may be easily and freely found by tribal community members and interested members of the wider public.