The effort to get a radio station at Rocky Boy has had its up and downs over the years, the most recent setback being the flood that damaged parts of the reservation.
The idea for a radio station was conceived more than a decade ago, and work with federal agencies to obtain grants and licenses was started in 2007.
Efforts are under way now to construct a building to house the station. The station, KHEW, was to be located on the Stone Child College campus. But the spring flood that damaged the reservation's health center, and the chemical dependency program, White Sky Hope Center, was forced to relocate from the health center onto the campus, so the radio station had to find a new home.
The people behind the radio station project decided to build the station its own headquarters. A company has volunteered to do the foundation work, and the station is looking to find funding for the rest of the work, said Joan Mitchell, the special projects coordinator for the Chippewa Cree Tribe, who has coordinated the effort to get the station on the air.
The station's philosophy will be "Cree first," she said. Programming will largely be in Cree and translated into English.
That creates some problems, she said. Some innocuous words in Cree are, when translated into English, among the words the Federal Communications Commission bars from use on the public airways, she said.
But those kinds of problems can be worked out, she said.
The station's call letters will be KHEW, which is translated into Eagle in Cree. People on the reservation are excited about the station, she said.
"People have been volunteering to help out," she said. "We tell them we can't pay them, and they say they just want to help."
The station will be broadcast on 88.5 on the FM dial, and it will be powerful enough to be heard in Havre, she said.
She said the tribe has received a lot of help from the radio station at Fort Belknap, which has been operating for several years.
Work on the transmitter has been under way. Havre radio station KXEI has offered to share use of its Mount Zion tower, Mitchell said.