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Minnesota Tribal Radio Station Takes Bold Steps in Climate Crisis Preparedness

By Kyler Edsitty

[Cass Lake, MN, August 25, 2023] – In the heart of Indian Country, where the impacts of climate change are acutely felt, tribal communities stand at the frontline of an escalating crisis. From devastating floods to relentless wildfires, vulnerable populations are increasingly vulnerable. Yet, amidst these challenges, a beacon of hope emerges.

KOJB Radio, the steadfast voice of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Cass Lake, MN, proudly announces a milestone in their ongoing battle against climate-related catastrophes. They have completed an Emergency Operations Plan training with Native Public Media, fortifying their capacity to face climate-driven storms head-on. Native Public Media, a nonprofit championing Indigenous media, joined KOJB Radio to impart a comprehensive training program focused on emergency operations planning. This alliance aimed to equip the station's staff with the tools to navigate crises efficiently, maintain vital communication channels, and craft a robust emergency operations plan.

KOJB Station Manager Chris Bedeau reflected on the training's profound impact, saying, "The training was a wakeup call and showed me areas the radio station needs to improve and show its strengths. The training modules were easy to follow and could be applied to other areas of our Tribe's departments."

The intensive training spanned diverse topics, encompassing crisis management strategies, emergency response coordination, and the uninterrupted provision of broadcasting services. It underscored the significance of forming an emergency operation plan committee entrusted with crafting the blueprint for immediate action. As part of the training, KOJB undertook a capabilities assessment, pinpointing areas ripe for enhancement in their preparedness, response, and recovery protocols. They also received an emergency operations plan template, streamlining the planning process for swift implementation.

Native Public Media's tailored approach proved instrumental, rooted in their expertise in supporting Indigenous media outlets. This partnership showcases the power of community-based organizations uniting to bolster local resilience.

"As we navigate our climate crises, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are not left to face these challenges alone. Through partnerships like this with KOJB Radio, we strive to build resilience and stand together to face climate events. Through its participation in the Emergency Operations Plan training, KOJB Radio has positioned itself as a vital lifeline during crises. Their unwavering commitment to proactive disaster preparedness in an era where climate change's shadow looms shines as a beacon of resilience and hope for Tribal populations,” stated Loris Taylor, President and CEO of Native Public Media.



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