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Celebrating Excellence: KIYE Wins Idaho's 2024 Best Radio Show Award

By Kyler Edsitty

In a momentous achievement for Native broadcasting, “The Conversation,” a beloved radio talk show from the Nez Perce Nation in Idaho, won Idaho’s Best Radio Show Award. Coveted by broadcasters, the Award annually recognizes outstanding success in broadcasting and storytelling.


The prestigious award solidifies KIYE’s status as an example of greatness in talk radio and serves as an achievement for Indian Country. The award acknowledges explicitly the contributions of “The Conversation” to the larger media landscape. Known for its engaging guests, insightful conversations, and cultural discussions, “The Conversation” stood out as a candidate among esteemed and notable candidates as the overall winner of the Panhandle region in Idaho.

Hosted by Daniel Spaulding, “The Conversation” captivates audiences by highlighting Indigenous guests, their communities, issues, and achievements. With its signature blend of heart and humor, the show has endeared itself to listeners across the state. In a world where Indigenous representation is missing or inadequate, the show gives a platform for Native voices by amassing a vast audience. 


“There was a need in the area for a news outlet that would highlight the things that are going on in my community,” Spaulding said. “I wanted to create a show highlighting positive things and the Nez Perce experience. The show grew into sharing Indigenous perspectives from different people and Tribes.”


Spaulding joined the world of radio as a talk show co-host with his friend at the college radio station. His broadcast career took off when he started working for KIYE radio in Kamiah, ID. At KIYE, Spaulding began by hosting a daily show playing hip-hop music.


Spaulding created “The Conservation” in 2021 to address issues and achievements in his area. A new guest highlights events in Indian Country in each episode, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and residential boarding school abuse. The show grew in popularity, featuring more well-known guests, including U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and the “Reservation Dogs” actress Devery Jacobs.


The 2024 Best Radio Show Award is a testament to Spaulding’s dedication and talent, whose tireless work elevates KIYE Radio to new heights of excellence. KIYE listeners and online fans have shared words of praise with Spaulding, expressing thankfulness for more Indigenous representation on the radio. Spaulding stated he was surprised and ecstatic when he heard his name called at the awards ceremony.


“I feel blessed that my community supports me,” Spaulding said. “The positive feedback has especially come from the youth. The biggest takeaway is that people can relate to my experience or my guests’ experience.”


As recognition rises, Spaulding remains steadfast in his commitment to delivering The Conversation as thought-provoking Indigenous content that is informative and entertaining to its dedicated audience.


“I was shocked and didn’t know I had it,” Spaulding said. “I was up against shows from bigger radio stations with a larger reach. I felt like the underdog going in, but I feel very proud of myself, and recognition for the work I’ve put in at the radio station feels great!”


With this latest honor serving as a testament to its excellence, the future looks brighter than ever for Spaulding and “The Conversation,” a shining example of radio’s power to inform, inspire, and unite Native communities.


“The Conservation” episodes are available to stream on the KIYE website.


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