The Radio Communications program began in 1978 and receives its funding from the Cree Regional Authority and the federal and provincial governments.

The radios used are high-frequency and the local fur officers rent them to the trappers at between two and three dollars per day, depending on the community. The money that is generated is then used to pay for the radios’ insurance and license fees.

Although the radios are rented to the trappers, the women in the trapping camps are the ones who actually use them. The radios are kept at the camps and the women can call all the other camps in the territory in an emergency situation. More important, each community has someone contact the trapping camp via radio every evening. If there is no answer, then a representative from the community goes immediately to the camp to help.

Currently, The Cree Trappers Association owns 468 portable radios and eight base stations. Because of popular demand, some communities, such as the Crees in Sennetere, have requested additional radios. Extra radios have also been requested where three communities share one channel.

The Radio Communication program is the most effective and appreciated network ever established on Cree Territory. The Association has agreed to participate in M.S.A.T’s (a Canadian radio satellite system company) experimental project of mobile radio services in the fall of 1999 and will request 256 sets for the trappers. Consequently, the Association has decided to freeze substantial spending on portable radios and equipment.

Using cellular phones has been investigated to facilitate communicating amongst the Cree Trappers. However, this is not a feasible option.

NUMBER OF RADIOS PER COMMUNITY

COMMUNITY RADIOS
CHISASIBI
64
EASTMAIN
28
MISTISSINI
95
NEMASKA
31
OUJE-BOUGOUMOU
11
WASKAGANISH
70
WASWANIPI
61
WEMINDJI
51
WHAPMAGOOSTUI
57
TOTAL
468