Radio company

Radio company apologizes for airing ad that called residential school damage a ‘myth’


“We’re sorry we let it go on our airwaves with that kind of message… It shouldn’t have been aired at all.”

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Golden West Broadcasting apologized after some of its radio stations aired an advertisement from the Frontier Center for Public Policy suggesting that the trauma caused by residential schools is a myth.

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We’re sorry we let it go on our airwaves with this kind of message, so we will make sure we don’t let this kind of message go on the radio again… It shouldn’t have been broadcast to everyone, ”said Golden West chairman Lyndon Friesen in an interview.

The organization checks ads before they go on air, but “we haven’t looked at this one closely enough, obviously,” he said. “I don’t know why this one hasn’t been verified.”

Golden West has radio stations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Friesen said he couldn’t recall which stations aired the ad or in which communities it aired. He said the announcement aired once about two weeks ago and that some people who heard it contacted the company to raise concerns.

An emailed statement released by Golden West on Tuesday afternoon said an apology would be posted on stations which broadcast the ad, “and steps are being taken to ensure that such content is not shown on our stations across the board. ‘to come up”.

The Frontier Center ad asked if Canadians were “learning the whole truth about residential schools” and claimed that it was a “myth” that residential schools deprived Aboriginal children of their childhood, language and culture.

Roger Currie, the broadcaster who read the ad, told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix on Monday that the content of the ad “certainly does not represent my point of view,” and he accepts that the 100-plus years in which residential schools worked was a “bad chapter in Canadian history.”

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He said he severed his relationship with the Frontier Center in Winnipeg after the ad began circulating on social media over the weekend.

In a statement, the Frontier Center said the ad was for its radio commentary program, which is “designed to reach a larger non-traditional audience for our think tank across the Prairies.”

The residential school system, established in 1876 by the Indian Act, was funded by the federal government and administered by various churches. The last residential schools in the country closed just over 20 years ago.

It is widely believed that the system has done great harm to generations of indigenous children who have been separated from their families and stripped of their language and culture in order to be assimilated.

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