INCA survivors inspire new students
- Jaycene Lathlin | May 22, 2018
When Jamin Mike listened to Jeanelle Mandes’s stories about journalism, when they were both working at their local community radio station, he knew he was meant to be a story-teller.
Since then, Mike has followed in Mandes’s footsteps by attending the INCA Summer Institute, a seven-week introduction to journalism at First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv).
They and three other former INCA survivors shared their experiences with the 2018 INCA students on a panel discussion on the opening day of the Institute.
Mike, from Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation, said he always been drawn to broadcasting.
“I always watched Nelson Bird on CTV Indigenous Circle, then Creeson Agecoutay,” said Mike, referring two well-known Indigenous journalists in Saskatchewan.
“Something always drew me to news, I remember as a child I would sit there with my kokum Doreen watching news like a grown up would,” Mike said.
The INCA Summer Institute brings in professional journalists in different media to teach the students their area of expertise. The institute is facilitated by Shannon Avison, the INCA program coordinator, and runs from May 7 – June 22.
“This year is the largest class we have ever had and plus we added teaching units, added instructors about twitter, podcasting, and two APTN instructors, producers coming to work with the students which we never had before.” said Avision. “It’s really tremendous this year.”
Newly recruited INCA student Mary Powder hails from Yellowknife, NWT. She came to Regina for this institute specifically. She was encouraged by one of her supervisors and so far, she said the institute is very interesting and makes her want to go further.
“I highly recommend this U of R journalism because that’s how you get started, and you have to start somewhere,” said Powder. “Believe in yourself and don’t get discouraged. You have a lot of classmates that you can do teamwork.”
Another newly recruited student, Robert Merasty from Ile-a-la-Crosse who has been a journalist for 46 years, said he needed to come back for a refresher.
He first heard of INCA in the late 1980s and took INCA in 1991.
“I love the class and I would come back here anytime for another refresher and I would recommend it to any young person who is interested.”