Wawatay Native Communications Society (Wawatay for short) was formed in 1974 by the people of Northern Ontario, Canada's Nishnawbe Aski Nation, as a source of communications technology, namely radio, television, and print media services for the Oji-Cree communities. Its mandate is to preserve the indigenous language and culture in its service area. Wawatay's general office is located in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, with bureaus in Timmins and Thunder Bay.
Northern Ontario is a primary geographic and administrative region of the Canadian province of Ontario, the other primary region being Southern Ontario. Most of the core geographic region is located on part of the Superior Geological Province of the Canadian Shield, a vast rocky plateau located mainly north of Lake Huron, the French River, Lake Nipissing, and the Mattawa River. The statistical region extends south of the Mattawa River to include all of the District of Nipissing. The southern section of this district lies on part of the Grenville Geological Province of the Shield which occupies the transitional area between Northern and Southern Ontario. The extended federal and provincial administrative regions of Northern Ontario have their own boundaries even further south in the transitional area that vary according to their respective government policies and requirements. Ontario government departments and agencies such as the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation define Northern Ontario as all areas north of, and including, the districts of Parry Sound and Nipissing for political purposes, while the federal government, but not the provincial, also includes the district of Muskoka.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political organization representing 49 First Nation communities across Treaty 9 and Treaty 5 areas of Northern Ontario, Canada. Re-organized to its present form in 1981, NAN's original objective was "to represent the social and economic aspirations of our people at all levels of government in Canada and Ontario until such time as real effective action is taken to remedy our problems."
The Oji-Cree, Anishinaabe or, less correctly, Severn Ojibwa or Northern Ojibwa, are a First Nation in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba, residing in a narrow band extending from the Missinaibi River region in Northeastern Ontario at the east to Lake Winnipeg at the west.
Wawatay's mission statement says that they are "... dedicated to using appropriate technologies to meet the communication needs of people of Aboriginal ancestry in Northern Ontario, wherever they live."
A mission statement is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation. It may include a short statement of such fundamental matters as the organization's values or philosophies, a business's main competitive advantages, or a desired future state—the "vision".
Wawatay is the primary source of news for the remote areas of Northern Ontario. The name comes from the Oji-Cree word for the aurora borealis.
The society operates two radio networks:
The Wawatay Radio Network (WRN; ᐙᐙᐦᑌ ᓇᐣᑐᐦᑕᒧᐎᐣ (Waawaate Nandotamowin); unpointed: ᐗᐗᑌ ᓇᑐᑕᒧᐎᐣ) is a network of radio stations that broadcasts news, talk, sports, local and popular music. Native language and English are both heard, often mixed together. In many NAN communities the local WRN transmitter is the only station that can be picked up in the community without difficulty.
WRN operates the following stations:
CKWT-FM is a radio station of Wawatay Radio Network in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada. The station airs a programming format for First Nations, and serves much of Northwestern Ontario through a network of rebroadcast transmitters.
CJWT-FM is a First Nations community radio station that operates at 106.7 FM in Timmins, Ontario.
WRN can also be heard nationwide on Bell TV channel 962.
Wahsa Radio is a network of radio stations that broadcasts educational distance learning and informational programming. The network is operated in conjunction with the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council.
Wahsa Radio is heard on the following stations:
Wahsa Radio can also be heard nationwide on Bell TV channel 972.
Wawatay TV produces aboriginal TV productions which air nationally on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. The service also formerly leased time from the Ontario Parliament Network on its system of over-the-air transmitters in remote Northern Ontario communities.
Wawatay Television has produced many documentaries, children's programs such as Wawatay Kids TV, and outdoor shows.
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Wawatay News (ᐙᐙᐦᑌ ᐋᒋᒧᐎᓇᐣ (Waawaate Aajimowinan); unpointed: ᐗᐗᑌ ᐊᒋᒧᐏᓇᐣ) and its digital version Wawatay News Online (ᐙᐙᐦᑌ ᐋᒋᒧᐎᓇᐣ ᐲᐙᐱᐦᑯᐣᐠ (Waawaate Aajimowinan Biiwaabikong); unpointed: ᐗᐗᑌ ᐊᒋᒧᐎᓇᐣ ᐱᐗᐱᑯᐠ) is a semi-monthly newspaper. According to Wawatay, the newspaper is in a tabloid format, distributed free to the residents of 93 First Nations in Northern Ontario. It is also sold via newsstand dealer to many other communities in Northern Ontario with a subscription rate for readers outside of the general circulation territory. Total circulation is 9,300 copies with a reading audience of over 58,000 Aboriginal people.
Sioux Lookout is a town in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Located approximately 350 km (220 mi) northwest of Thunder Bay, it has a population of 5,272 people and an elevation of 390 m (1,280 ft). Known locally as the "Hub of the North", it is serviced by the Sioux Lookout Airport, Highway 72, and the Sioux Lookout railway station. According to a 2011 study commissioned by the municipality, health care and social services ranked as the largest sources of employment, followed by the retail trade, public administration, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, accommodation and food services, and education.
CIDE-FM is a Canadian First Nations radio station belonging to the Wawatay Native Communications Society, broadcasting at 91.9 FM in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. The station broadcasts distance education and informational programming through the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council. CIDE-FM has an extensive network of rebroadcasters throughout Northwestern Ontario.
Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation, or MBC Radio, is a radio network in Canada, serving First Nations and Métis communities in the province of Saskatchewan.
Wapekeka First Nation is a First Nation band government in the Canadian province of Ontario. An Oji-Cree community in the Kenora District, the community is located approximately 450 kilometres northeast of Sioux Lookout. In January, 2008, the total registered population was 375, of which the on-reserve population was 355.
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, also known as Big Trout Lake First Nation or KI for short, is an Oji-Cree First Nation reserve in Northwestern Ontario and is a part of Treaty 9. The community is about 580 km (360 mi) north of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Nibinamik First Nation, also known as Summer Beaver Band, is a small Oji-Cree First Nation reserve in Northern Ontario, located on the Summer Beaver Settlement that is connected to the rest of the province by its airport, and a winter/ice road that leads to the Northern Ontario Resource Trail.
Deer Lake First Nation is an Oji-Cree First Nations band government in Northern Ontario, located north of Red Lake, Ontario Canada. It is one of the few First Nations in Ontario to have signed Treaty 5. It is part of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Council and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. As of December, 2007, the First Nation had 1,072 registered members, of which their on-reserve population was 868.
Wawakapewin First Nation is an Oji-Cree First Nation reserve located 350 kilometers north of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. It is only accessible by air and the winter road system from Pickle Lake. It is a small community in which the registered population in June 2013 was 73, of which 43 lived on their own Reserve. The current Chief is Anne-Marie Beardy. Wawakapewin First Nation is a member of Shibogama First Nations Council.
Sandy Lake First Nation is an independent Oji-Cree First Nations band government. The First Nations community, in the west part of Northern Ontario, is located in the Kenora District, 227 km (141 mi) northeast of Red Lake, Ontario. Its registered population in June 2007 was 2,474. As of December 2015 the total registered population reached 3,034. Sandy Lake First Nation maintains an affiliation with Nishnawbe Aski Nation, as a signatory to the Treaty 5.
Wunnumin Lake First Nation is an Oji-Cree First Nation band government who inhabit 360 km northeast of Sioux Lookout in Ontario, Canada. Its registered population in January 2007 was 565.
Kingfisher First Nation is an Oji-Cree First Nation reserve located 350 kilometres (220 mi) north of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. It is accessible by air all year and by waterway in summer and ice roads in winter. As of December 2009, the First Nation had a total registered population of 500 people, the on-reserve population being 462. The community speaks the Oji-Cree language, but most of it is fluent in English as well.
Kasabonika Lake First Nation or Kasabonika First Nation is an Oji-Cree First Nations band government located north of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. There are no roads into the community and the only access is through Kasabonika Airport. It is part of the Shibogama First Nations Council and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. The First Nation's landbase is the 10,806.5-hectare (26,703.4-acre) Kasabonika Lake Reserve.
This is a list of media outlets in the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
Keewaytinook Okimakanak Council is a non-political Chiefs Council in northwestern Ontario, Canada, serving its six member-First Nations. The council was organized in November, 1991.
The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network is a Canadian broadcast and Category A cable television network. Established in 1992 with government support to broadcast in Canada's northern territories, since 1999 APTN has had a national broadcast licence. It airs and produces programs made by, for and about Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, it is the first network by and for North American indigenous peoples.
North Caribou Lake First Nation or Weagamow First Nation, sometimes also known as Round Lake First Nation, is an Oji-Cree First Nations band government who inhabit the Kenora District in northern Ontario, Canada. It is approximately 320 km (200 mi) by air north of Sioux Lookout. As of January 2008, the First Nations had a registered population of 928 people, of which their on-Reserve population was 677.
CFTL-FM, is a First Nations community radio station which operates at 100.3 MHz/FM in Big Trout Lake, Ontario, Canada.
Wasaya Airways LP is the first 100% First Nations owned domestic airline with its headquarters in Thunder Bay, Northern Ontario, Canada. Its main hubs are the Thunder Bay International Airport and the Sioux Lookout Airport, however, it also offers a charter and cargo service from a base in Red Lake Airport and Pickle Lake Airport. In 2003, Wasaya Airways bought the rights to serve remote First Nations communities from Bearskin Airlines. The airline also supplies food, clothing, hardware and other various supplies to 25 remote communities in Ontario.
Sol Mamakwa is a Canadian politician, who was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the 2018 provincial election. He represents the riding of Kiiwetinoong as a member of the Ontario New Democratic Party.