“Northerners definitely reach out in times of need.”
That’s what Rob Ouellette said he discovered from being part of the ‘Dear Fort Liard’ campaign, launched jointly between CKLB and the GNWT on Jan. 23 to show solidarity with the Dehcho community following the outbreak of six cases of Covid-19 there.
“We’re very satisfied with the response. The callers sent their best wishes to the folks of Fort Liard,” said Ouellette, CEO of the Native Communications Society, which operates CKLB Radio.
The campaign kicked off on Jan. 23 for the station’s Saturday Request Show when CKLB asked listeners to share supportive messages for Fort Liard residents during the regular song request period.
Thirty-five voice-mail messages and one video from an unnamed MLA poured in.
Chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola also tweeted a video message for the campaign.
Here’s my message to Fort Liard – let’s see yours! Don’t forget to hashtag #DearFortLiard. #NWT #COVID pic.twitter.com/abDtQnLWuD
— Kami Kandola (@NWT_CPHO) January 23, 2021
“The rest of Northwest Territories is cheering for you, and I’m cheering for you. Mahsi cho,” she said after reminding residents to practise recommended health measures.
Ouellette said the Saturday Request Show was chosen because it’s the station’s most popular program.
“It’s listened to all over North America and all over the world,” he said. “We had a request recently from Cleveland, Ohio. We were very thrilled with what happened.”
It’s hard for Ouellette to pinpoint the most memorable messages received, as CKLB “cherished” all listeners’ participation in the campaign that runs until Jan. 30, the same day the lockdown order in Fort Liard is scheduled to end.