National Aboriginal Music Countdown ~ First Nations

Published on November 27, 2013 by Amy

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National Aboriginal Music Countdown
National Aboriginal Music Countdown

Native Communications Incorporated (NCI-FM) began airing a top ten playlist in the spring of 1998. “NCI’s Aboriginal Top Ten” was first formulated as a radio playlist where announcers played songs hourly from a predetermined song-list. In the fall of 1999 this playlist evolved into a one-hour long which featured Aboriginal music from throughout North America. By the spring of 2000, the program was lengthened to two-hours and the name was changed to “The National Aboriginal Top Thirty Countdown”. NCI’s David McLeod initiated the radio show, who is a self professed “Aboriginal music fanatic.” He was recognized for his efforts at the 2001 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (CAMA’s) in Toronto. He was very honoured to receive the “Industry” award and promised to continue working towards the cause of Aboriginal music.

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In the fall of 2008, the Aboriginal Music Countdown went national with the advent of a new Aboriginal broadcast association called the “Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters (WAAB).” The association united five provincial Aboriginal broadcasters to work together on common goals and interests. All five broadcast societies signed on to broadcast the National Aboriginal Top Thirty program.

In March of 2010 the name of the program was changed to “The National Aboriginal Music Countdown”. The format also rose to feature forty songs from across North America and also included some Indigenous music from New Zealand and Australia. A website was also launched to further promote the National Aboriginal Music Countdown and give access worldwide to anyone who has an interest in Aboriginal music. The website features a complete list of songs and their position on the chart and an audio version of the program. The recording is a week old in order to entice listeners to hear the latest program on their local or on-line Aboriginal radio station.

The National Aboriginal Music Countdown is produced weekly by NCI fm 105.5 in Winnipeg. The Aboriginal Music Countdown is hosted and written by the very talented Melissa Spence. She says, “I love to introduce musicians on the countdown who are just at the beginning of their career. It’s always exciting to hear their stories and share their music with listeners from coast to coast to coast (the north).”

The Countdown is produced by 30 year radio vet Rick Baverstock, who describes the assembly of the show as the highlight of his week.” I look forward to working with Miss Melissa week-in, week-out; she’s a top-notch broadcaster. And the music we play on the show is world class, and worthy of a much wider audience.”

Executive Producer, David McLeod says, “We all work as a team, including the Aboriginal networks who broadcast the countdown. At the heart of the show are talented Aboriginal musicians who artistically connect us to who we are as a larger community.”


The National Aboriginal Music Countdown is dedicated to the promotion of Aboriginal music and talent within Canada’s broadcast industry.

Values & Beliefs:

We value music as integral part of the Aboriginal community’s cultural identity and should be recognized as such. We believe in removing barriers which have historically hampered First Nation, Inuit and Métis music from being heard on the radio.

We recognize that Aboriginal musicians and the sound recording industry are a significant contributor to the economic development of Canada’s music industry. We believe in fairness and being impartial in our endeavor to formulate a national chart for Aboriginal music.

We believe that as Aboriginal broadcasters that we have a responsibility to raise awareness of Aboriginal music and the artists which create the music. We value and believe in providing the general public with weekly chart updates and accessibility to chart listings online. We value Aboriginal music and belive in a virtual resource with a database for all peoples.

Source: aboriginalpeopleschoice Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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