American Indian group digitizes decadeslong radio archive

Two men talking in a studio.
Fred Veilleux, Ojibwe composer and musician, talks with Gary Fife in the sound studio of Migizi's "First Person Radio" at 2300 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis.
Photo by Randy Croce, 1983 | Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

The local American Indian media organization Migizi Communications has a significant archive of reel-to-reel audio tapes dating back to the mid-70s. These tapes are from radio shows the organization produced — first broadcast locally and then nationally.

The audio chronicles remarkable moments in modern Native American history, but up until very recently it was largely lost to time.

Just in the past several months, Migizi has started converting the tapes. Melissa Olson is one of the leaders of this project. She spoke with MPR News host Cathy Wurzer about what they’re uncovering.

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