After four months pondering its financial future Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon is set to receive its yearly funding following delays from Ottawa.
“The funding (for NNBY) will come and it will be the same as last year,” said Teresa Doré, director of aboriginal peoples’ programming at the department of Canadian Heritage, on Tuesday.
Whitehorse-based NNBY receives $1,005,679 yearly from Canadian Heritage through the northern native broadcast access program.
When that funding didn’t arrive in April, the broadcaster wrote to Doré asking why, said Stanley James, chair of the board at NNBY
Doré wrote back saying, “There was going to be funding cuts,” he said.
The letter led to confusion and worry within the organization, said James.
“We wanted to find out where the funding cuts were, how much they were going to be, what they were going to do, but they said ‘We can’t do that until we do a review of your programs,’” he said.
And then nothing much happened.
Now, four months after NNBY’s funding was to flow, its release is finally about to happen, said Doré.
The delay was caused by a budget cutting exercise at Canadian Heritage that put all programs under the microscope, she said.
“We looked at impacts of cuts, and as a result, this program will not be cut.”
Phone calls to all organizations affected by the delay to announce the good news have been made, said Doré.
But James, interviewed on Tuesday, was unaware of the decision.
“We don’t know yet what is happening because we haven’t received anything yet,” he said.
Fourteen Yukon First Nations co-own NNBY.
It broadcasts on the radio through CHON-FM, and on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network through several local programs.
As well as broadcasting to most Yukon communities, CHON-FM is received in Atlin, Lower Post and Good Hope Lake, British Columbia, and Tsiigehtchic and Aklavik in the Northwest Territories.
While CHON-FM does broadcast advertisements, the lion’s share of NNBY’s budget comes from federal funding, said James.
NNBY general manager Shirley Adamson declined to comment.