KNIZ: Native Community Radio in Gallup
Gallup is a border town; not only between Arizona and New Mexico but between many indigenous reservations. While Gallup is within the bounds of Dineh territory, it is the largest urban area off of the reservation in the region and continues to be an essential meeting spot.
The Colonization of the Continent is an on-going process. The Dineh people (often known as the Navajo) were originally colonized by the Spanish, when their territory was considered to be the "property" of Mexico. As the United States colonized the region, they created laws that favored the profits of coal and uranium mining companies who devastated the land, displaced tens of thousands of people, and caused cancer rates to skyrocket while simultanelously imposing assimilation through boarding schools and forced impoverishment.
We arrived to Gallup on a Saturday morning and headed straight to the Flea Market- a huge meeting place with rows of stands selling food, music, weavings, art, and pretty much anything that you could imagine. From the bustling market we headed up a hill and at the top- found a beautiful house which is home to Gallup's first community radio station, KNIZ. They started internet streaming just two days before we arrived- and their goal is to get on the air by the end of the summer.
We facilitated a workshop with an intergenerational group of Navajo people, involved with KNIZ who emphasized the long standing need for a radio station for their community. They want to collaborate with other indigenous media projects and use their station to continue their ways of life and address issues that are facing Native communities in Gallup and on the surrounding reservations. The most pressing issues they noted were colonization, oppression, racism, poverty, exploitation, environmental pollution and alcoholism.
Despite all of the hopes, enthusiasm and need for the station- lack of resources remains the largest obstacle. Marli "We know how to get people involved, but the reality is that we do not even have recording equipment for people to use. That is the reality here, that is what we are dealing with."
Autumn Chacón and Ryan Dennison, both former Prometheus interns have organized Youth events and fundraisers to build more participation in the new radio station but there is still a need for more resources to get the station on air by the end of the summer. You can listen to an interview that Palabra Radio conducted with Ryan above. Additionally when Ryan interned with Prometheus he created a fact sheet on the importance of Low Power FM Radio for Native communities which you can download below.
As they continue to get their station off of the ground- they are eager to connect with a growing international network of community media, especially indigenous community media projects. To contact the station, and listen to their stream click here.