CBQM Fort McPherson documentary

CBQMMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ted Ostrowski, who writes:

Hey Thomas

Thought your SWListeners might enjoy this bit of Canadiana. It’s a bit dated and cheesy, but radio buffs may enjoy it. I did.



This feature-length documentary pays tribute to CBQM, the radio station that operates out of Fort McPherson, a small town about 150 km north of the Arctic Circle in the Canadian Northwest Territories. Through storytelling and old-time country music, filmmaker and long-time listener Dennis Allen crafts a nuanced portrait of the “Moccasin Telegraph,” the radio station that is a pillar of local identity and pride in this lively northern Teetl’it Gwich’in community of 800 souls.

CBQM, Dennis Allen, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

This is wonderful, Ted, thank you for sharing!

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7 thoughts on “CBQM Fort McPherson documentary

  1. Don Hall

    Anyone interested in this indigenous “sub-genre” would probably enjoy 660 KTNN, Window Rock, Arizona. They put a great signal into California in the evening, and probably in lots of other directions, too. I believe they have a 50kw signal and are easily heard during daylight in most of the US Southwest. They feature American Country music and some Native American music, too, with many announcements in Navajo. I love these guys; programming from diverse operators like this is what I DX for.

  2. David - KE8KEF

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching this, thank you so much for sharing. Brings back memories of the old “Whole Wheat Radio” in Talkeetna, Alaska.

  3. Paul Rawdon

    A remarkable documentary did anyone spot the two GE Super Radios? There was a Super Radio 2 and a Super Radio 3.

  4. Mike VE7SKA

    I’ve watched this documentary several times since it was released. It’s an excellent slice of life in a remote First nations community. The AM transmitter on 690 is no longer on air & has been replaced by a 50 watt FM signal with calls CBAH-FM. Like other First nation CBC Radio One stations throughout the NWT & Nunavat, access by the local community for local programs has still been maintained.

  5. Tracy Wood

    The Industry Canada data base lists CBQM as 690AM with just 40 watts. The is also a “VF2080: listed as “Native Communications Society of the N.W” on 101.9 headquarterd in Yellowknife – – probably a distinct satellite fed native programming repeater


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