Pine Ridge Radio Station begins fundraising for new facility

A Native-run public radio station on the Pine Ridge reservation is launching a fundraising campaign for a new facility.

KILI Radio has been on the air for nearly four decades.

The station is located on Porcupine Butte in Porcupine, South Dakota.

KILI was the first American Indian-owned radio station in the United States.

The original building was built by volunteers. It was built as a temporary facility.

KILI Radio Board Chairman Bill Means.

Bill Means is the Chairman of the Board of KILI Radio.

“Our radio station has outgrown its usefulness in the sense of modern equipment, in the sense of office space,” Means said. “We needed a new house. This is the beginning of this adventure.

KILI Radio is looking to build a $2.5 million facility.

The station broadcasts tribal council meetings, Lakota Nation Invitational basketball games, and a wide range of music – from traditional powwow music to country, rock ‘n roll, and hip hop.

KILI Radio is primarily powered by renewable energy – both wind and solar.

Tom Casey is the station’s general manager. He says the station’s goal is to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy.

“Obviously as a radio station – 100,000 watts – we use quite a bit of electricity,” Casey said. “Our commitment was not only to work to bring in as much renewable energy as possible, but also to show the community and the region that it is possible. It’s doable. Find the resources and commit to using as much renewable energy as possible.

Station officials aim to raise funds in two years.

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