Missinipi Broadcasting Corp. was formed when the federal government introduced the Northern Native Broadcast Access Program. The program was designed to enhance, protect and preserve aboriginal languages while allowing indigenous peoples to control their own communications.
Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation’s first Board of Directors was elected. Headquarters were established at La Ronge.
On April 27, Missinipi Broadcasting was granted a native-and English-language FM station at La Ronge, operating on frequency 89.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 10 watts. The station would broadcast locally-produced programs.
When the station signed on the air, it was known as CJLR-FM. The LR in the calls: La Ronge.
On December 9, CJLR was authorized to increase effective radiated power from 10 to 50 watts and to relocate the transmitter to a site approximately 3.5 kilometres from the existing one. CJLR was also given approval to add a transmitter at Montreal Lake, operating on 89.9 MHz with ERP of 8.5 watts.
CJLR was authorized to add a transmitter at Prince Albert on April 13. It would broadcast with 50 watts on 88.1 MHz.
On September 11, the following rebroadcast transmitters were approved: Black Lake Reserve (10 watts at 91.7 MHz), Fond-du-Lac (17.8 watts at 89.9 MHz) James Smith Reserve (35.7 watts at 96.5 MHz), Shoal Lake Reserve (47.6 watts at 89.9 MHz).
On December 17, CJLR was authorized to add transmitters at North Battleford and Beardys First Nation Reserve.
The Meadow Lake transmitter was authorized on February 2. It would operate on 89.9 MHz with effective radiated power of 37.3 watts.
On September 17, approval was granted to change the North Battleford frequency from 94.7 to 95.5 MHz, increase the ERP from 49 watts to 28,000 watts, and relocate the transmitter to a site 20 km west of the existing one, and increase antenna height.
The Denare Beach transmitter was approved December 5 for operation on 91.9 MHz with ERP of 250 watts.
On February 14, the CRTC approved the application by Natotawin Broadcasting Inc. to change the authorized contours of CJLR-FM, by increasing the effective radiated power from 50 watts to 216 watts, and by increasing the antenna height from 21 metres to 46 metres. As a result of the technical amendments approved in this decision, CJLR-FM's status would change from that of a low-power unprotected service to a regular class A1 FM station. On the same date, the Commission approved Natotawin's application to change the authorized contours of CJLR-FM-3 Prince Albert, by increasing the effective radiated power from 50 watts to 249 watts, and by decreasing the antenna height from 40 metres to 21 metres. As a result of the technical amendments approved in this decision, CJLR-FM-3's status would change from that of a low-power unprotected service to a regular class A1 FM station.
By the end of this year, CJLR-FM (MBC Network Radio) was heard in over fifty Saskatchewan communities on transmitters owned by Missinipi Broadcasting and other organizations, as well as on cable. The signal was distributed from the LaRonge studios to the various transmitters via a digital audio system up-linked directly to the Anik E-1 satellite. CJLR broadcast programming in English, Cree and Dene languages, with 25 to 30 hours of Aboriginal language programming per week.
On October 25, CJLR-FM received approval for a rebroadcast transmitter at Yorkton. It would broadcast on a frequency of 92.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 1,260 watts.
CJLR-FM received permission on May 28 to add a transmitter at Regina. It would broadcast on a frequency of 90.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 43,000 watts.
On August 27th, CJLR-FM and its chain of transmitters received a licence renewal that would run from September 1st 2008 to August 31st 2015.
The CRTC authorized a change of contours for transmitter CJLR-FM-5 at Yorkton, SK. Effective radiated power would decrease from 1,600 to 1,540 watts and there would be a slight change of antenna site. The antenna would remain non-directional with a height of 66 metres.
On August 17, the CRTC approved the application by Natotawin Broadcasting Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the type B Native radio programming undertaking CJLR-FM La Ronge. The licensee proposed to modify the technical parameters of the rebroadcasting transmitter CJLR-FM-3 Prince Albert by relocating that transmitter, by increasing the maximum effective radiated power from 249 to 49,000 watts (class A1 to class B), and by increasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 21 to 148 metres. The licensee stated that the existing technical parameters and location did not permit adequate coverage of all the native communities in the Prince Albert region. The licensee also stated that reception had been problematic in Prince Albert and that the proposed power increase and relocation of the transmitter to a site offering a higher antenna elevation would alleviate many issues regarding existing coverage in Prince Albert.
Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated April, 2011