INCA Program



Prepared by Shannon Avison, INCA Program Coordinator


Welcome to the First Nations University of Canada. If this is your first time in our beautiful building, please watch the video “Our Sacred Lodge of Learning,” in which Sylvia McAdam explains the cultural significance of this place.

A Sacred Lodge of Learning: First Nations University of Canada from INCA Channel onVimeo.

The Indian Communication Arts (INCA) program was established as a pilot project in 1982, with a donation from the Donner Foundation. The original directors of INCA were Susan and Joel Demay.

I took the INCA program from 1986 to 1988 and went on to do freelance work for Doug Cuthand at theSaskatchewan Indian, the Regina-Leader-Post, the Northern Miner and the Northern Affairs Secretariat. In 1989 I was hired as a lecturer in the INCA program. Back then we had introductory courses in interviewing, research and reporting and those were the classes I taught. I also taught INCA 283 for the first time in September 1989. So I am coming up on 26 years of researching and writing about Aboriginal media, and recruiting and training students for work in journalism and communication.

INCA now has graduates in media everywhere–across Canada, APTN, CTV, Global, Leader-Post, MBC….

Connie Walker is at CBC in Toronto and is responsible for CBC Aboriginal at and she works on the new CBC Radio program “Unreserved,” which airs every on Saturdays at 5:00 (You can listen to “Unreserved on your own schedule by going to

We also have graduates in many communications positions…

Every second summer, we offer the INCA Summer Institute in Journalism (INCA 200). INCA 200 is a 7-week crash course, boot camp, immersion in all things journalism. You can watch the television show that students produced INCA Inspired for a sense of what students accomplish in just 7 weeks and the people who inspire them. Watch INCA Inspired

Check out our blog at INCAOnline to check out work produced by students in past Institutes and projects.INCAOnline

INCA is about people. Our goal is to train students to become journalists and communicators. In 1989, when I started, there were very few Aboriginal people in the media. Now there are lots and most of them are connected to INCA–as students and grads, teachers, employers and mentors. These are people I want you to meet: Duncan McCue, Debbie Charles (MBC Radio), John Lagimodiere, Merelda Fiddler (CBC) and Geraldine, Shelley Fayant, Racelle Kooy, Kerry Benjoe (Leader Post),  Stewart Manhas (Global), Melanie McKay (Global), Alina Perreault (CTV), Shinoah Young, Penny Smoke.

So, welcome aboard!


University of Regina Undergraduate Calendar


9.21.1 INDIAN COMMUNICATION ARTS PROGRAM Faculty General Information Admission to Indian Communication Arts Certificate in Indian Communication Arts (INCA) Faculty
Shannon M. Avison, BA Hons (Regina), CICA (Regina), BA Hons
(Regina), MA Media Studies (Concordia), Assistant Professor,
First Nations University of Canada General Information
A two-year, 72-credit-hour program of studies, the Certificate in
Indian Communication Arts (INCA) is offered through the First
Nations University of Canada’s Department of Indigenous
Languages, Arts and Cultures.
Indian Communication Arts (INCA) provides academic training and
professional experience that supports the entry of Aboriginal people
into all areas of the communications industry, including Aboriginal
and mainstream media and public relations. INCA graduates are also
eligible to apply to the University of Regina School of Journalism.
INCA prepares students by requiring that they complete courses
including Indian history and politics, oral traditions, community-based
research, business management, traditional and contemporary
communication systems, languages, and art. INCA students master
basic skills needed for reporting for print and broadcast media and
the web and can also study strategic communication planning for
public relations. Admission to Indian Communication Arts
To qualify for admission to INCA, students must be eligible for
admission to the First Nations University of Canada/University of
Regina. Proficiency in English must be well above average, and it is
strongly recommended that applicants have basic computer skills.
Upon being accepted by First Nations University of
Canada/University of Regina, students must contact the INCA
department office, which will provide academic and professional
advising. Certificate in Indian Communication Arts (INCA)
The basic requirements of the INCA program are those of the prejournalism
program outlined in §9.25.2. INCA students take INDG
281 and 282 and INCA 283 and 284 as electives in the prejournalism
program of the Faculty of Arts. In addition to the prejournalism
requirements, INCA students take INCA 200 (Summer
Institute in Indian Communication Arts) and INCA 290 (Internship).
In order to receive the Certificate in Indian Communication Arts, a
student must have a GPA of at least 65% based on all courses being
used for the certificate.
The Certificate in Indian Communication Arts is a two-year, 72-credithour
program, structured as follows:

Certificate in Indian Communication Arts program, required courses

Arts Core Requirements:(All courses are 3-credit except where noted)

  • ARTS 099 (Optional)
  • ENGL 100
  • Any course in MATH, STAT, CS (except CS 100), PHIL 150, 352, 450, 452, 460, SOST 201, ECON 224
  • Any course in ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL or PHYS that has a laboratory component, or GEOG 121
  • One of: ENGL 110; RLST 245, 248; PHIL 100; SOST 110
  • Two language courses (or one six-credit class) in any language other than English.
  • Any course in ANTH or RLST (except RLST 181, 184, 186, 188, 281, 284, 288), GEOG 100, 120
    Subtotal: 24 credits

Certificate in Indian Communication Arts program, required courses

  • TWO courses chosen from TWO of the following: ECON 100; HIST 200, 201, 202 (history course emphasizing Canadian history)
    PSCI 230 (A course in political science emphasizing Canadian politics and government)
  • INCA 200 Summer Institute in Journalism (6-credits) (offered every second year in May-June)
  • INCA 283
  • INCA 284
  • INCA 290 Internship (6-credits)
  • INDG 281
  • INDG 282
  • Six Open Electives
    Total credits: 72 credits

To graduate, students need a 65% PGPA or 60%UGPA