Valerie Fast Horse, a Coeur d’Alene tribal member who served a stint in the army followed by a corporate career in computer technology, launched the $3.5 million broadband network Rezkast.com from scratch with her team, reports yesmagazine.org. She wanted to bring an online cultural forum to her Northern Idaho Indian reservation and preserve Coeur d’Alene tribal history, language and culture.
Rezkast.com streams user-uploaded Native American music, video and audio recordings, in addition to featuring photos, articles and games. The site boasts 1,765 members — not bad for a 2,000-member tribe. Approximately 6,500 people live on the reservation. Reskast-branded clothing is also available for purchase.
Now, Fast Horse is in the last leg of trying to build support and generate funding for a Coeur d’Alene radio station: KWIS 88.3 FM. The deadline to go-live is December 2011. “If we are not on-the-air on or before that date, we will lose the construction permit, call letter assignments, and initial funding. There is a dire need of additional support to accomplish this project,” Fast Horse pleads on the KWIS Facebook page.
The Coeur d’Alene Tribe received a construction permit from the FCC to build and operate a new, full-power FM bilingual Native American public radio station in December 2008. KWIS 88.3 FM would serve the entire Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation and surrounding areas in Northern Idaho.