Word of Wisdom to be aired on MBC
- INCA Staff | June 17, 2020
On June 21 at 1 pm, MBC will broadcast Words of Wisdom (WOW), a one-hour radio special produced by INCA Summer Institute students for National Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
MBC is proud to partner with the INCA program, said CEO Deborah Charles. “Indigenous listeners across Saskatchewan will hear their stories, their aspirations, their worldviews and their cultures.”
The INCA Institute is a seven-week journalism “crash course.” It is required for the Indigenous Communication Arts diploma, at the First Nations University of Canada. This summer it was offered online for the first time, because of the COVID pandemic.
“It was challenging to convert the curriculum for online delivery,” said INCA program coordinator Shannon Avison. “But we were able to invite instructors from across the country.”
INCA alumnus Connie Walker joined students from her back yard in southern Ontario. Walker was a CBC producer for 20 years and won multiple awards for her podcast series Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo.
Walker talked about “subverting the true crime genre” to talk about colonialism, trauma, residential school impacts and the ’60 Scoop, and the important role of journalists to change the conversation in Canada.
“It’s exciting for students to hear to their radio stories broadcast and streamed live online,” said Avison. “Everyone can do journalism and storytelling—it’s a matter of learning the concepts, ethics, formats and technical tools.”
Words of Wisdom will also be available as a podcast at www.incasummer.ca
CBC North trainer Peter Skinner is teaching his second Institute -- from his kitchen in Yellowknife, NWT.
Teaching radio writing and performance to university students is challenging, said Skinner. “In radio, there’s just one thought per sentence and the writing is sharp, clear, direct and conversational.”
For Skinner, the most important concept is the focus statement: somebody is doing something for a reason. “Every question has to relate directly to the focus statement for the story to come together.”
Student Lori Deets was excited to learn the technical side of radio storytelling. “Using Audacity was a huge accomplishment. It’s a tool I can use for so many things.”
Words of Wisdom profiles 15 Indigenous people, most from Saskatchewan—Elders, teachers, chiefs, activists and leaders.
Kerry Benjoe profiled Carol Lavallee, a student and later employee at the Lebret Indian Residential School. “Radio provided an outlet for Carol to speak for herself using her own unique voice,” says Benjoe, who was a reporter at the Regina Leader-Post for over 15 years. “I don’t have to interpret her feelings or thoughts as I would in print.”
Chef Kane-Ryan Thomas registered in INCA after being laid off from Elk Ridge Golf Resort. He profiled culinary arts instructor and ice carver Thomas Pitt. “I wanted to pick a chef that taught me and I’m fascinated with ice carving,” said Thomas.