Home News New hire signals new era for radio station 

New hire signals new era for radio station 

Courtesy Kristin Cree

In the earliest days of a local radio station here in Kanesatake, a teenage Kristin Cree, daughter of co-founder John Cree, hosted a show out of a mobile trailer that served as the station’s office and studio. 

“It was just a fun atmosphere that I really enjoyed growing up,” said Kristin, who remembers the way the station was used to raise money for community causes. 

Now, decades later, Kristin has been selected as the first-ever executive director of Mohawk MultiMedia Inc. (MMM), the non-profit organization tasked with overseeing Reviving Kanehsatà:ke Radio (RKR) 101.7 FM. 

“To me it’s kind of come full circle, my father creating the radio station back then and for me now to be the executive director to kind of carry on the goals and missions that he had,” she said. 

Another of the earliest volunteers, Karahkó:hare Syd Gaspé, has been leading the effort to revive a local radio station for Kanesatake, which he envisions as a key tool for the preservation of language and culture. Hiring Kristin will allow him to put his focus into other areas, such as programming, he said. 

“My ultimate goal is to bring the tool of the radio station to the community and be the catalyst to get things going and moving and continuing,” he said. “I’d rather be in retirement, ideally, but it’s the passion and the interest that keeps me going.” 

Kristin, who is currently doing distance studies with Yorkville University, is pursuing a bachelor’s in business administration with managerial and accounting designations. She is expected to bring expertise to the business side of the operations, for which fundraising is always an urgent concern and the station looks to persevere and grow. 

“The whole idea of reviving the radio station was also to create a structure for it,” said Gaspé, who will stay on as president of MMM.  

“We have a certain foundation already. I think it’s all about sustainability and organization. It’s the next step. Any business needs a sound structure, meaning, we have an executive director,” he said, adding it will be up to Kristin to determine what employees may be needed to help the station flourish and fulfill its role in Kanesatake. 

“I think a lot of people see the radio station as a unifying element in the community,” said Gaspé. “We’ve got to build on that and maintain that. That’s very important.” 

The station is currently putting up a new $300,000 radio tower that will strengthen the signal for those listening at home. A building is also envisioned for the future.  

On the programming side, Gaspé hopes to expand offerings to include more music in addition to cultural content. 

These priorities align with Kristin’s vision for the station. 

“My ultimate goal is to create a radio station that is the heart of the community,” said Kristin, saying she hopes to create more links between community organizations and incorporate more news coverage, including news about other Kanien’kehá:ka communities. 

“One of the goals would be connecting all the sister communities through the media of the radio station,” she said. 

Kanehsata’kehró:non Angela Gabriel listens to Kahnawake’s radio station, K1037, every day, finding the news and music relevant to her. She hopes to see RKR incorporate more of this content. 

“I am hoping for more in the future,” she said, noting she was happy to learn the station can now be accessed online. 

“Communication is key, and I feel having our own station is so important.” 

In addition to helping nurture the expansion of RKR’s content, Kristin wants to make it a priority to offer training and support to employees that are needed as the station grows. 

“I think she’ll do very well. She’s very open, and she listens to different people,” said her father John, who noted his satisfaction when Gaspé began efforts to renew the local radio station. 

“That’s to push the language, to let the community know what’s going on within the community, and fundraising for different events,” he said. 

Kristin acknowledges she has a lot to learn about her various responsibilities, but she’s willing to put in the work. 

“I’m excited,” she said. “I’m ready to dive in.” 

marcus@easterndoor.com 

Marcus Bankuti, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter 

This article was originally published in print on April 26 in issue 33.17 of The Eastern Door.

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Marcus is a journalist and managing editor of The Eastern Door, where he has been reporting since 2021 on issues that matter to Kahnawake and Kanesatake. He was previously editor-in-chief of The Link and a contributing editor at Our Canada magazine.

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Marcus is a journalist and managing editor of The Eastern Door, where he has been reporting since 2021 on issues that matter to Kahnawake and Kanesatake. He was previously editor-in-chief of The Link and a contributing editor at Our Canada magazine.