SEATTLE – A new Seattle-based internet radio station is “indigenizing the airwaves,” uplifting indigenous music from the Pacific Northwest and around the world.
Daybreak Star Radio Network was launched last summer as a project of the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Discovery Park.
“To have an entire radio station dedicated to Native Americans, to indigenous peoples, is monumental,” said David Hillaire, a longtime DJ from the Lummi Nation known as DJ Big Rez.
“I want the Daybreak Star Radio Network to be recognized, respected, understood as the number one Native American radio station internationally,” said program director Harris Francis.
The station invites native artists to submit their music.
Station manager Sherry Steele, a member of the Oklahoma Peoria Indians, hears people from everywhere.
“We just did instrumental death metal from Ecuador, we had members of the Sami nation from Norway,” Steele said.
Daybreak Star Radio broadcasts everything from hip-hop to storytelling.
“The mission is to bring the voices of Indigenous artists and musicians to the world, to show the world that we are not extinct, that there is Indigenous music all the time,” Steele said.
“I think it’s really inspiring, for someone in the backseat of a car on their way to school to say ‘Hey, they’re indigenizing the airwaves here at Daybreak Star’,” said Dominick Joseph of the Tulalip Tribes, who helps organize the station’s social media.
“Careers can be launched, just like you see something on The Voice, the right person just needs to hear you,” Hillaire said.
DJ Big Rez is committed to creating opportunities for Indigenous artists, on a brand new radio station that is finding a growing audience and is already making waves.
“I didn’t expect the explosion to happen here, I came just to help, to do my part.”
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