Denisa Kraus
The Navigator

Cj Rice has a degree in Digital Media Studies at VIU
(Photo by: Denisa Kraus)

Interview with the host of Shh, Rez Pirate Radio, a radio show focused on First Nations and indigenous news, culture, and music from B.C., Canada, and around the world.

Navigator: WHY Shh, Rez Pirate Radio?

Cj Rice: I started interviewing on the radio during a conference in 2010 for the National Campus and Radio Association on Gabriola Island. From there I was given the chance to use a pirate radio station for the summer, and so I did. From the experience of that summer, I brought my show online in podcast form, continued for a couple of years, and then brought the show to CHLY two years later, keeping the same name throughout.

N: HOW do you prepare for each episode?

Cj: Each event I attend in the community brings another suggestion given or network strengthened for me, and I enjoy hearing from my listeners about their political, environmental, or musical concerns.

I am often following leads for weeks and/or writing letters of introduction, requesting interviews, or generally networking for months before I get an actual interviewee on any particular subject.

I spend many hours listening to music, requesting permissions, obtaining links to music, and in researching and maintaining a musical filing system for the show. Many of my (at least ten) hours a week are spent in creating an online profile of my persona and in creating a relationship with musicians around the world in order to be apprised of updates from them that may be of interest to the community or to music that I will play on the show. I try to play music that is related to the interview of the week, and usually take Friday evening hours trying to find the right set for the show.

N: WHO do you hope to approach with your show?

Cj: I wish to bring any person interested in learning about Native cultures information that may help them to reach a shared understanding.

N: WHICH parts of hosting do you enjoy the most?

Cj: Meeting the Elders in different communities and listening to their stories is what keeps me going.

N: WHERE on campus in Nanaimo do you go for inspiration?

Cj: Snuneymuxw First Nations events bring me the most inspiration, because the members are very vocal of their concerns and enjoy sharing what they know.

N: WHAT was the most life-altering thing you’ve learned from hosting so far?

Cj: Even though I have little money, I am still willing to drive three cities over every week to share what I have learned from the community and to bring aboriginal music from those who are trying to make a difference in the world. I started back to university after a stress attack, and I was told one thing­—Do what makes you happy, what you would do for nothing, then get paid for it. So, I figure I’m halfway to my life’s goal of happiness and less stress.

N: IF you could have your dream show…

Cj: I am hoping to have a longer show, with many supporters to help with the research, administration, and promotion of the concerns that natives have overwhelmed me with in their enthusiasm of finally having someone local who is interested in broadcasting that information out to the world (and then get paid for doing it). I would also like to host musicians for local people to meet and to hear what concerns they bring from their worldwide travels.

N: WHEN you aren’t hosting your show…

Cj: I have a huge family, and they are very special to me. The importance of passing on my knowledge is something that was impressed on me after my parents passed away.

Shh, Rez Pirate Radio airs every Saturday 12a.m. – 1p.m. at CHLY 101.7 FM.
For podcast, go to

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