The cégep de Jonquière to adapt its journalism program to aboriginal people

Photo: Wikimedia / Khayman CC
In the framework of a pilot project, the cégep de Jonquière has worked with the education Council of First Nations.

From the fall of 2018, twenty students from the First Nations of Quebec will be able to integrate, within the framework of a pilot project, the profile of Journalism to the cégep de Jonquière.


Aboriginal youth from across the province and interested in the job of journalist will have until 1 march to submit their entries in order to access this part of the school of media Arts and technology, which has been adapted for them.


“The cégep de Jonquière is the only college authorized to give the journalism program in Quebec, and we must meet the needs of workforce employers,” explains Michèle Gagnon, responsible for the departmental coordination of the programme Technical communication in the media.


And the demand was there, far side of the indigenous media and mainstream media as Radio-Canada, for example, who has supported the project from the cegep from Quebec.


The project will “inevitably” social significance, writes Ms. Gagnon, highlighting the numerous reports that have demonstrated that the First Nations were invisible in the newsrooms of the media.

It has not taken any decision about […] if one kept it only in journalism, or if it was going to open to our other programs
Michèle Gagnon, head of coordination at the cégep

In transition


The cégep de Jonquière has worked with the Council First Nations education (FNEC) and with the Kiuna institution, a school for aboriginal located in Odanak, between Sorel-Tracy and Trois-Rivières.


The twenty aboriginal students will be selected according to the same requirements as the regular students, and will have to pass all of the skills that are the path of specialization in journalism, ” explains Michèle Gagnon, cégep de Jonquière.


By contrast, the training of these young aboriginal people out of the secondary will be in two stages. First of all, they will perform their first three sessions at Kiuna institution, with professors of the institution, and also follow a distance course with professors from the school of media Arts and technology.


“We said that the best way to enable them to succeed — because it is also a problem, academic achievement —, it was that they have the best coaching possible, and we think Kiuna is the best place for help,” says Ms. Gagnon.


Aboriginal youth, for whom French is often the second language, will follow the general education — English, French, physical education, philosophy — and also some specialised courses, of which two at a distance on the radio, and journalism.


“The teachers who will teach the course will receive training, on the one hand the distance education, the tools and pedagogical strategies [that request] and, secondly, to raise awareness of the aboriginal culture, the ways we learn when we are in a situation of second language also. “


The last three sessions, they will be in the premises of the cegep of Jonquière, with about 120 regular students in the program in Technical communication in the media, journalism option.


“We want to start the cohort in 2018, but it has not taken any decision as to whether we would renew that, if we kept it only to journalism, or if it was going to open to our other programs,” says Michèle Gagnon.


The ministry of Education and higher Education of Quebec has granted $ 80,000 to the cégep de Jonquière for this pilot project.

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