Fort Belknap Radio Station Goes on Air

Nov 15th, 1996 | By | Category: 8-3: Ceremony, Tribal College News

KGVA staff and board (left to right): George Spang, producer; Ted Soloman, board member; Minerva Allen, board; Chuck Mulluk, announcer; Clarena M. Werk, station manager; David LePage, trainer, National Federation of Community Broadcasters; Preston Cochran, Americorp worker. Kneeling: Mervin Babsie Bishop, board. Board members not pictured: Kirby King, Ramona Wing, and Jay Eagleman.

Fort Belknap College has started a radio station, KGVA, to serve members of the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribe and surrounding communities. The vision for the station emerged during the administration of former college president Margarett Campbell more than four years ago and continues with the current president Dr. Lenore Stiffarm.

Since the station went on the air in October, it has already had a positive impact on the isolated area of northern Montana where communication was difficult. No television broadcasts reach the southern end of the reservation; major newspapers arrive a day late or not at all; and many homes cannot afford even telephones. There was a lot of miscommunication, according to Clarena M. Werk, station manager.

A non-Indian living 60 miles away said that prior to the radio station, he only heard negative news about the reservation; he didn’t even know Fort Belknap had a college. His words impressed the Campaign for Human Development. Other funders include the Public Telecommunications Facility Grant Project, Lannan Foundation, Montana Cultural and Aesthetics Project, Montana Committee for the Humanities, and the National Park Service-Cultural Preservation Grants. To reach the station, write to P.O. Box 159, Harlem, MT 59526, or call (406) 353-4656.

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