New Digital Magazine Provides Link to Northern Talent

By: Shaunna Grandish November, 2014

Language is a pathway to one’s cultural identity, and the Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) in La Ronge is taking a leading role to ensure this link is not permanently lost for future generations.

Earlier this year, MBC launched the first edition of its digital magazine, MBC Magazine: Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal Arts and Culture Magazine. As of this September, four editions have been published with two more scheduled to be released in the future. The magazine showcases a variety of Northern Saskatchewan talent – everything from poets, artists and musicians, as well as profiling local performers. What sets this magazine apart is that each article and poem is translated via audio recording into Cree and Dene, with the addition in the upcoming fourth edition of a Michif translation.

For Deborah Charles, CEO, MBC, executive publisher of MBC Magazine, the preservation of Aboriginal languages and culture is very important for the health and future of their communities. “I believe that it’s MBC’s responsibility for every Aboriginal person in Saskatchewan to maintain their language and culture,” explains Charles. “I think it’s our role to support individuals and families in a community effort.”

Each article comes with an audio translation that the reader can use to help them follow the story or poem in Dene, Cree and now Michif. “Even if you aren’t fluent in the language, you can listen to the recording and get a grasp of the language,” adds Charles.

Since the magazine, which received some of its funding from a SaskCulture Capacity Building Grant, is published on MBC’s website, Northern Saskatchewan talent can now be showcased to a worldwide audience. Charles says she has noticed hits from as far away as Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand. “People are now spread across from all over the world,” she says. “We are their link back home.”

Charles adds that she believes featuring artists from the northern most remote communities can provide inspiration for others to take a leading role in showcasing their talents.

“The publication is a showcase of photos, music, articles and videos that reflect my people and the culture and lifestyles to not only Northern Saskatchewan, but all over the province and world.”