Being in charge of our own media is important for keeping our culture alive. For too long our stories have been told through the views of outsiders, being twisted and concealed to look a certain way. So, having control of what we do and who we are and then what we want to put out there is very important. Radio is a good source of communication and information because most people have radios, it can be accessed online and it can present news, music and interviews in one media.
Here is my interview with two of the coolest radio personalities ever, Susan Blight and Jamaias DaCosta who host CIUT’s Indigenous Waves Radio Show on 89.5 FM.
SUSAN BLIGHT: Susan is a visual artist and filmmaker from Couchiching First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. She received an M.F.A. from the University of Windsor (2007) in Integrated Media, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography (2004) and a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies (1999) from the University of Manitoba. She currently resides in Toronto where she is the Special Projects Coordinator at First Nations House at the University of Toronto.
JAMAIAS DACOSTA: Jamaias is a musical artist, writer and activist journalist, and is mixed identifying as Jamaican, Portuguese, African, South Asian, Sephardic Jew, and Irish, Kanien’keha:ka, Cree and French descent. Through broadcast and print journalism, music, creative writing, and education her work consistently involves an exploration of resistance, identity and examination of colonial oppression, decolonial thought and processes and cultural expressions. Jamaias is a member of the multi-disciplinary artist/activist org R3 Collective; is Host and Producer of The Vibe Collective on CIUT 89.5FM and is the Producer of Indigenous Waves Radio, also on CIUT 89.5FM. Jamaias is also a workshop facilitator and has held workshops at both grade schools and universities in Toronto around stereotypes; Indigenous education and decolonial thought. Jamaias has also worked with Caribbean Tales and has written for the CBC, First Nations House Magazine, U of T’s Independent Weekly and several news and community blogs.
1. What is the mandate for the Indigenous Waves show?
Jamaias: The Indigenous Waves mandate is to present a diverse range of news, music, stories, art, culture, language and events from the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, and beyond.
Susan: To present stories that educate, decolonize, and represent the diversity of Indigenous peoples with integrity.
2. What is the coolest part of your job?
Susan: Getting to speak with some of our most dynamic and engaging artists, writers, thinkers, community leaders, activists, and musicians.
Jamaias: The coolest part of the job is getting to meet and connect with interesting people who are involved in creative and/or meaningful work.
3. What do you hope people gain from listening?
Susan: I feel an accountability and responsibility to the community. I hope that Indigenous people feel that we are doing something positive and contributing to a dialogue around decolonization and empowerment. For non-indigenous listeners, I hope that they will learn something about the diversity of Indigenous peoples and hear another side to these issues that may not be presented in mainstream media.
Jamaias: My personal hope is that people within Indigenous communities feel we are presenting programs that are interesting and relevant to them; and that other people will learn about the diversity and dynamism of First Nations communities.
4. What was your best interview and who was it with?
Susan: Taiaiake Alfred. We have had a lot of amazing guests who were willing to share some of their knowledge and give of their time. Taiaiaike Alfred was someone who blew me away in terms of what he was able to offer in the short time of an interview. Personally, I felt absolutely inspired and the discussion was something I thought about for days afterward.
Jamaias: We’ve had so many incredible guests, Taiaiake Alfred, the Grassy Narrows Youth, Waubgeshig Rice, Deb McGregor, Oshkimaadziig Camp, Pam Palmater, Ellen Gabriel, there are too many to pick just one!
5. What’s in the future of this show?
Susan: I see potential for growth in other areas of media. I do see paucity and dearth of Indigenous presence in mainstream media and the show fills a niche in terms of its programming
Jamaias: We are planning to continue to build with as many people as we can. We are also introducing a new language segment and some outreach initiatives.
Check out Indigenous Waves on 89.5 CIUT every Monday 4-5PM Or online at (where you can check out the show) : www.ciut.fm/index.php/shows-2/indigenous-waves Or on the Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/IndigenousWavesRadio