INCA 283 History of Indigenous Media in Canada

Click here for 2016 Winter Syllabus

2016-Winter-inca_283_course_outline-Jan-11 (with disabilities)



WEEK 1 – Monday, January 11 (INTRODUCTIONS)

INCA 283 student_questionnaire



Class 1 attendance



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See also


Assignments due:

Survey due next week




2. Review INCA program

  • INCA 200 Summer Institute in May-June
    • Watch INCA Inspired 2013 (find it in INCA Projects)
  • INCA 290 Internships
  • NAJA conference in September 2016
  • Review 40th Anniversary Alumni publication project – Roles and Opportunities

2. Review Syllabus

3. Discuss strategies for completing Assignment #1 – due next week


Assignment: Survey of Aboriginal media – Students will conduct Internet and library research to complete the chart/template provided by the instructor for this assignment. Click here for template INCA 283 survey template

The goal of this assignment is to have students start to appreciate the range and variety of Aboriginal publications, broadcasters (radio and television) and other media producers in Canada. The completed assignment should include the completed chart with 20 organizations and a 500-word “reflection” about what was learned through researching this assignment. This assignment will be the basis of a discussion and exercise in class. No late assignments will be accepted.

Marks: Completed table/5; Reflection/5


3. Discussion: What do you already know about media – mainstream and Aboriginal?


Example of the power of media: “Mrs. Universe on Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women” in The Globe and Mail. Click here for article and video

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4. This is so cool:

INCA 283 article

INCA 283 Northern Ontario FNs and the www by Budka


5. Isuma TV

“Otacimow: One Who Tells Stories” produced by Jarrett Crowe. Available at



5. Watch The Seeing Each Other: Canadian Media and Aboriginal People panel, held in Nanaimo, BC in January 2014, which examines the role Canada’s media plays in shaping the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Watch 28:45 – 1:02:00)

Don Kelly, Fish Out of Water 28:45 – 32:35

Duncan McCue 32:35 – 45:00

Judith Lavoie 45:00 – 53:00

Wab Kinew 53:00 – 1:02:00





Reading assignment for Week 2

There are two objectives for your reading/watching assignments:

  1.  I want you to get a sense of the way that literacy and books were interpreted when they were first introduced to “Indians” in the late 1500s and early 1600s. This is the subject of  “The Power of Print in the Eastern Woodlands” by James Axtell in The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 2 (Apr., 1987), pp.300-309.\
  2. I want you to learn about the Cherokee Phoenix, which is likely the first publication by “Indians” in North America. The first edition was released on February 21, 1828, and the editor included an explanation “To the Public,” which explained the purpose of the publication. There is also a good background explanation of  The Cherokee Phoenix, produced by the Hunter Library. There are also a number of scholarly articles that are of interest, including on published in the Chronicles of Oklahoma in 1947,  Cherokee Phoenix- Pioneer of Indian Journalism by Robert Martin pp. 102-118.

For background on Sequoyah (George Gist) and the Cherokee writing system he developed, you should watch the following short videos:





WEEK 2 – Monday, January 18





Assignments – Assignment #1 due today



  1. Review of Early Indian Newspapers in US and Canada

The Cherokee Phoenix was likely the first “Indian” publication in North America. It was published starting in 1828

The Cherokee Phoenix


The Indian, published in Hagarsville, Ontario by the The Indian Publishing Co. This issue is from 1885, with Managing Editor/Head Chief Kah-ke-wa-quo-na-by (Dr. P. E. Jones)



The Native Voice started publishing 1946, under the editorship of veteran Jack Beynon, for the Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Native Voice 1949


The Indian Outlook was publishing from 1960-1963 by a partnership of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians and the Regina Committee on Minorities.




The New Breed started publishing in 1969 under the editorship of Professor Howard Adams, a Metis from northern Saskatchewan who had been educated at the University of California during the 1960s and returned to Saskatchewan to teach at the U of S.




2. Survey of Indigenous media in Canada

3. Discuss assignment: Major research project and presentation for the class??

4. Preview and assign chapters from Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers

“Seeing Red by Carmen Robertson and Mark Anderson – Each student to select one chapter and prepare a PowerPoint presentation for the class (max 10 slides, images on every slide, max. 20 words per slide)

Review PowerPoint of Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers in Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 38 (1) NOTE: max. 20 slides, images on every slide, max. 20 words per slide

Seeing Red Review presentation – Great presentations – reduced file size

Online version of book

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Week 3 – Jan. 25

  • SEEING RED: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers






1.Student presentations of Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers chapters


3) Discuss assignment: Presentation – Aboriginal media organization

INCA 283 2015 Assignment #2 Research, paper, presentation

4) Watch CBQM, NFB, 2009


Reading for next week: “Indigenous journalists are changing the news in Saskatchewan,” in J-Source.

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WEEK 4 – Monday, February 1




Assignment #2 – Interview with a representative of a media organization



1) Preview Speaking and Hearing by Shannon Avison and Michael Meadows, 2002

2) Review Aboriginal Language Broadcasting in Canada, 2004


3) Watch CBQM


Reading assignment for next week:

Avison, Shannon and Michael Meadows. 2000. “Speaking and Hearing: Aboriginal Newspapers and the Public Sphere in Canada and Australia.” Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 25. No. 3.




WEEK 5 – Monday, February 8







2) CBC has had an important role in Canada. It is a public broadcaster, set up in 1952 to provide Canadian content.

Click here for 1952: CBC Television Debuts (Video 4:17)

3) Communication satellites radically increased the ability of CBC to get its programming to every community in Canada. In 1974, the Accelerated Coverage Plan (ACP) gave CBC marching orders to get its signal into every community in Canada with a population of at least 500 people.

Click here for The Anik satellite and northern Canada (Audio 8:00)

Click here for Anik A1 launching: bridging the gap (Video 2:11)

Click here for Launching the Communications Technology Satellite (Audio 7:19)

Click here for The Digital Universe Grows with Anik F1


CBC’s Doc Zone aired a compelling program called A TV Renaissance.  Click here to watch A TV Renaissance

CBC now has three avenues for showcasing Aboriginal stories:

CBC Aboriginal on the website managed by INCA student Connie Walker

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Unreserved – a one-hour weekly network radio program hosted by Rosanna Deerchild

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CBC Firsthand – Connie Walker on Residential Schools

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And CBC documentaries that air on THE NATIONAL |

Including this one by Connie Walker about Makayla Sault, the 11-year-old Ontario First Nation girl who refused chemotherapy to pursue traditional indigenous medicine and other alternative treatments. Click on photo.  (Story 1:54)

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Including Duncan McCue’s story (18:43) about Marlene Bird that aired on Jan 29, 2015 

Marlene Bird: Aboriginal woman’s story of struggle and survival – Marlene Bird was beaten, assaulted and set on fire six months ago. Duncan McCue shares her heart wrenching story of struggle and survival.

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Electronic Drums: Aboriginal and Native Radio in Canada and the USA by Laurence Etling, Valdosta State University. Southern Journal of Canadian Studies, volume 1, number 1 (pages 119-133) November 2005

Go to

Reading assignments:

  • Support for Aboriginal broadcasting in Canada has centred around Aboriginal language preservation and promotion. This report by Jennifer David, Debwe Communications Inc. is a great survey/summary of the state of Aboriginal language programming in 2004. Click here for Aboriginal_Language_and_Broadcasting_2004
  • Laurence Etling’s article Electronic Drums: Aboriginal and Native Radio in Canada and the USA (2005) is interesting because it expands the story to include Native American radio programming. (His article is in the Readings section of this blog site.)


Week 6 – Reading Week Break – no class


Reading assignment for Week 7

Soules, Marshall. 2007. “Harold Adams Innis: The Bias of Communications and Monopolies of Power.”

Tremblay, Gaetan. 2012. “From Marshall McLuhan to Harold Innis or From the Global Village to the World Empire.” Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 37 (2012), 561-575. Click here for article 2662-7688-2-PB



Week 7 – Feb. 22







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Harold Innis, 1894-1952










Harold Innis: The Bias of Communications and Monopolies of Power


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Marshall Mcluhan – The Medium is the Message

From Wikipedia:

The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived…. The phrase was introduced in his most widely known book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964.[1] McLuhan proposes that a medium itself, not the content it carries, should be the focus of study. He said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the characteristics of the medium itself.

For McLuhan, it was the medium itself that shaped and controlled “the scale and form of human association and action”.[2]

Extending the argument for understanding the medium as the message itself, he proposed that the “content of any medium is always another medium”[5] – thus, the content of writing is speech, print is that of writing and print itself is the content of the telegraph.

Hence in Understanding Media, McLuhan describes the “content” of a medium as a juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind.[8] This means that people tend to focus on the obvious, which is the content, to provide us valuable information, but in the process, we largely miss the structural changes in our affairs that are introduced subtly, or over long periods of time.[7]As society’s values, norms, and ways of doing things change because of the technology, it is then we realize the social implications of the medium. These range from cultural or religious issues and historical precedents, through interplay with existing conditions, to the secondary or tertiary effects in a cascade of interactions[7] that we are not aware of.



Reading assignment for Week 8 :

Canadian Broadcasting Act, 1991 available at or click INCA 283 Broadcasting Act and

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-383 (APTN Licence Renewal) available at or click INCA 283 CRTC decision to renew APTN 2013-383

Roth, Lorna. “The Delicate Acts of Colour-Balancing”: Multiculturalism and Canadian Television Broadcasting Policies and Practices.” Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 23, No. 4. Available at or click INCA 283 The Delicate Act of Colour Balancing by Lorna


Week 8 – Feb. 29







Strategies for completing APTN program review and presentation:

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Ryan, Maureen, TV critic, Huffington Post. 2012. “How to be a TV critic.” Available at

Morgan, Kori. “How to Write a Television Show Review.” Available at


Reading assignment:

David, Jennifer. 2004.  “Aboriginal Language Broadcasting in Canada: An overview and recommendations to the task force on Aboriginal languages and culture.” Available at or click here INCA 283 Jennifer David Aboriginal_Language_and_Broadcasting_2004


Week 9 – March 7





1.Aboriginal language broadcasting

Indigenous Language Radio Broadcasting NAJA Washington July 11 2015 FINAL


Week 10 – March 14







Week 11 – March 21 (APTN Program presentations)





  • Student Presentations: APTN Programs


Week 12 – March 28 (Exam)





  • Examination – this is a comprehensive exam and will cover all readings, discussions and presentations from the semester


Week 13 – April 4 (APTN Pitches)






1.APTN pitches


WEEK 14 – Monday, April 11

  • WRAP




Assignments – APTN pitches are due


1.Wrap class


Required Resources/Readings

Jessica streeter


















Suggested Resources/Readings


  • Cherokee Phoenix and Indian Advocate at
  • Cherokee Phoenix at

  • Review Cherokee Phoenix located at
  • Read “The Power of Print in the Eastern Woodlands” by James Axtell in The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 2 (Apr., 1987), pp.300-309.             The Power of Print

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Knowledge and Thinking Isuma

Additional Resources

Aboriginal Media in Canada: Cultural Politics and Communication Practices by Marian Bredin, 1995. PhD dissertation. McGill University. 509 pages

INCA 283 Aboriginal media in Canada by Marian Bredin


Click here for the INCA 283 course blog for Winter 2015

Click here for the INCA 283 course blog for Winter 2014