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The Saskatchewan Indian Federated College has offered the two-year INCA program since 1983; however, consultation with Native and mainstream media revealed the need for a complete overhaul of the program. The new program gives students a wider range of career opportunities after graduation, including the option of continuing their journalism training in the School of Journalism's 4-year degree program.
The new INCA program will train Native students in all areas of media, including radio, television, print and business administration. According to department head Dr. David Miller, "Developments like the establishment of the TVNC (Television Northern Canada) satellite network and the growth of advertising-based Native papers have created an even greater need for Native journalists."
"The new program will provide media outlets with skilled journalists who understand the historical, political and social conditions that have affected Native peoples," says Miller. "INCA graduates will contribute to the development of their own communities and will contribute to the larger society's understanding of Native issues."
The INCA program was developed in consultation with the faculty of the school of Journalism and Communications at the University of Regina. In fact, the pre-journalism program developed by the School has been adopted for the INCA program, which means that INCA graduates will meet the requirements to enrol in the four-year journalism program at the U of R.
The new INCA program consists of the two-year pre-journalism program (including four newly developed courses related to Native communications), a four-week Summer Institute in Native placement in a Native or mainstream media outlet.
CKCK Radio in Regina has already agreed to provide one work placement position and has contributed financially to the Summer Institute.
Ray Fox, president of the National Aboriginal Communication Society, has also voiced his support for Native journalism training programs. According to Fox, there is a tremendous need amongst the Aboriginal communications societies and mainstream media for Native journalists: "Not a week goes by at the national NACS office that we don't get a phone call from someone in mainstream media wanting to know where they can hire qualified Aboriginal broadcasters, journalists and reporters."
The SIFC is already receiving applications from students interested in the Indian Communication Arts program, Plans are underway to hold the First Summer Institute in the summer of 1993 and by September 1993 students will be available for work placements.