Wolastoqey First Nations and the treaty right to harvest timber for a moderate livelihood

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn published a story today in the NB Media Co-op about the suit against the government by six Wolastoqey First Nations for depriving the Wolastoqey people their treaty right to harvest Crown timber in order to earn a moderate livelihood. You can read Tracy’s story here.

Gordon Edwards in New Brunswick: “The nuclear industry is desperate”

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell published an article in the NB Media Co-op based on the webinar presentation by Dr. Gordon Edwards. The article discusses Dr. Edwards’ assertion that the nuclear industry is behind the government’s current push to fund and otherwise support the development of small modular nuclear reactors. You can read the article here.

Dr. Gordon Edwards in NB to talk about nuclear energy

RAVEN is collaborating with partner groups to bring Gordon Edwards to New Brunswick. Dr. Gordon Edwards is president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. See the RAVEN event page for more information.

He spoke in Saint John on March 12 and his Fredericton event on March 13 was changed to a webinar. The video of the webinar was published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. It can be accessed here.

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors : not small, not green, not clean, not affordable

The government of New Brunswick is encouraging us to believe that nuclear power is safe, clean and green, even while the nuclear industry is in a state of decline.

The government is following the advice of a handful of private entrepreneurs and setting the stage for what they hope will be the big economic miracle of 2020: tens of millions in federal funding to top the $10 million already invested by the province to transform New Brunswick into a booming and prosperous Nuclear Energy powerhouse for the entire world.

What are the risks of developing Small Modular Nuclear Reactors in New Brunswick?

Gordon Edwards, Canadian scientist and nuclear consultant, co-founded the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, and has been its president since 1978. He has worked widely as a consultant on nuclear issues and has been qualified as a nuclear expert by courts in Canada and elsewhere.

Dr. Edwards has worked as consultant for governmental bodies such as the Auditor General of Canada, the Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs, and the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning. In 2006, Edwards received the Nuclear-Free Future Award. He has also been awarded the Rosalie Bertell Lifetime Achievement Award and the YMCA Peacemaker Medallion.

Sponsors: the RAVEN project at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton, Council of Canadians Fredericton, Sustainable Energy Group Carleton County, Council of Canadians Saint John, Urban and Community Studies Institute at the University of New Brunswick Saint John, Sisters of Charity Saint John, NB Media Co-op.

The power of storytelling

RAVEN’s Casey Burkholder and Susan O’Donnell, along with friends from the UNB Faculty of Education participated in the NBEN Sustainability Education Alliance workshop today, Narrative Change. Thank you NBEN for another opportunity to network and learn!

SEA coordinator Tzomi Burkhart and RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote a story about the event for the NB Media Co-op. You can read the story here.

Ending toxic relationships at universities

RAVEN’s Hannah Moore is leading the St. Thomas University fossil fuel divestment campaign. Today Hannah published an article explaining why universities’ investments in fossil fuels are toxic and what it means to shift to a more healthy relationship. You can read Hannah’s article here.

RAVEN at Espace Maritime Spaces

Writing this from Beresford on the Baie des Chaleurs, looking forward to tomorrow morning and the start of the Espaces Maritime Spaces event, Belledune edition, with our RAVEN partner Projet Aulnes. RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn, Susan O’Donnell and Amy Floyd will be participating. After a day of workshops, the broadcast show will be produced in the evening and feature a range of topics, including the RAVEN project.

Fossil fuel divestment booklet presented at UNB Board of Governors meeting

RAVEN’s Rachel Bensler is leading the UNB divestment campaign. She has produced a booklet “A Guide to the Orange Square” with information about fossil fuel divestment and wearing the orange square. The campaign is supported by RAVEN, the UNB Students Union and the UGSW – union of graduate student workers.

The booklet was presented at the UNB Board of Governors meeting on Feb. 20 by the Board investments committee. The committee is in ongoing dialogue with Rachel and the divestment campaign about how to engage with fossil fuel divestment while being fiscally responsible.

UNB graduate student workers support fossil-fuel divestment

The Union of Graduate Student Workers (UGSW), local 60550 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) represents University of New Brunswick graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants at UNB. Today the UGSC confirmed it is supporting the UNB fossil-fuel divestment campaign. The UGSW logo will be included in the February information booklet. Thank you for your support!

RAVEN team meeting – February 2020

The February RAVEN meeting included a review of all the current activities we’re engaged in. Upcoming is the the Maritime Spaces / Espace Maritime production with the Belledune community in partnership with Projet Aulnes/ the Aulnes Project, the divestment campaigns at UNB and STU, academic publications, events planned for March and April, and much more. The meeting minutes are here.

Policing Indigenous rights activists

RAVEN partner Sophie Lavoie with the NB Media Co-op wrote a story about the presentation by Miles Howe in Fredericton. The event was hosted by the NB Media Co-op and RAVEN.

Howe was at the Elsipogtog protest site during the struggle against shale gas. He became curious about the methodology behind Project SITKA’s investigations and decided to research it. At the presentation Howe shared the results of his findings. The RCMP were looking for a “pan-national Indigenous rights movement” but they found no links.

You can read Sophie’s story here.

Universities funding planetary destruction

RAVEN’s Hannah Moore is leading the fossil fuel divestment campaign at St. Thomas University. Hannah wrote an article about university complicity in the climate crisis and the need for divestment campaigns. You can read Hannah’s article here.

Manufacturing consent for an extractive regime in rural NB

RAVEN’s first academic article was published this week, in the Journal of Rural and Community Development. The article: “Manufacturing Consent for an Extractive Regime in Rural New Brunswick, Canada” was written by RAVEN’s Mary Aspinall, Susan O’Donnell, Tracy Glynn and RAVEN friend Tom Beckley, all from the University of New Brunswick.

Stay tuned for some stories about the new article that we’ll write for RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. In the meantime, you can read the abstract and article online here.

RAVEN team meeting – January 2020

The first RAVEN meeting of 2020 included several new team members. The minutes briefly outline the activities in development over the next weeks and months. These include the Maritime Spaces / Espace Maritime production with the Belledune community in partnership with Projet Aulnes/ the Aulnes Project, and a possible future production with Eel River Bar First Nation, updates on the Growing a Better Future initiative and on the expanded university divestment team including St. Thomas University, plans for another Poetry for the Climate Crisis event, and activities around Earth Day. The meeting minutes are here.

Rural New Brunswickers talk about home through photovoice

RAVEN’s work with photovoice is led by researcher Tracy Glynn. In this new story published by the NB Media Co-op, Tracy presents the photo stories of rural residents Beth Nixon, Stephanie Coburn, Teri McMackin, Cheryl Johnson, Deborah Carr and Rick Roth. Check out the stories and photographs here.

Deforestation under-reported

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn wrote a story for our partner the NB Media Co-op about a new report with alarming information about deforestation in Canada. Logging roads and forestry operation landings involve considerable deforestation in themselves however roads and landings are not included in the national calculations of deforestation. In fact, the amount reported is only a fraction of the actual total. The report was published by the Wildlands League and Tracy’s story includes input from the NB-based Community Forests International. You can read the story here.

Moving forward on rural community food security in New Brunswick

This has been an exciting week for the RAVEN team, with new staff and collaborators joining the project, a new initiative started, and the launch of the 2020 cell phone music video contest. Joining these activities is a new article by RAVEN friend Brian Beaton, published by our partner, the NB Media Co-op. You can read Brian’s article, Moving forward on rural community food security in New Brunswick, here.

RAVEN’s 2020 Cell Phone Music Video Contest launched!

Get your cell phones out and start filming! You can enter the contest if you live in New Brunswick – even if you are not a musician. We have 4 prizes of $1000 for the winning videos plus 4 extra prizes of $500 for videos made by children and youth 15 years and under.

The contest theme is:

Growing a better future: Community food security in New Brunswick

This contest is running parallel to our project on community food security, Growing a Better Future, details here.

Here’s one definition of community food security developed through research and practice: “Community Food Security is a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound diet through an economically and environmentally sustainable food system that promotes community self-reliance and social justice.” (reference) Note that the focus is on community rather than gardens for individual households (although that’s important too).

Deadlines:

  • 10am, August 31, 2020: last date and time to download an application form. The form will be removed after this time. The form is available now from the link below.
  • midnight, August 31, 2020: last date and time to submit your completed application form with the link to your video. We will send a confirmation email when the form is received. No late applications will be considered.

RAVEN contest partners:

This page has links to all the the information you will need to enter the contest.

Important: if you are planning to enter the contest, read the contest guidelines and FAQs first!

For the contest guidelines click here. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below on this page are also part of the guidelines.

For the application form, click here. You must use the application form to enter the contest.

The link to the winning videos from the 2019 contest is here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and additional guidelines.

Here are some common questions we are expecting and our answers. These form part of the contest guidelines. Check back for more FAQs – we will add them as we receive more questions this year.

Q: Does the theme have to be “Growing a better future: community food security in New Brunswick?” A: Yes, it can be anything related to growing a better future and / or community food security in New Brunswick. If you are not sure what it means, google “community food security.”

Q: How are the videos judged? A: Each video will be assigned points by the judges. The information is in the guidelines document.

Q: How do I submit a video, can I email you the video file? A: No, we do not accept video files by email. You will need to put the video online somewhere and protect it with a password. YouTube and other sites permit this. The application form has a place for you to include the link to your video that you have uploaded, and the password.

Q: Does the person submitting need to be involved with an environmental group? A: The contest is open to all residents of New Brunswick, except members of the RAVEN team and contest partners.

Q: Can it be a video I made already or does it need to be original for the contest? A: We prefer videos that have not already been shared online. If it’s one you made already, you will likely need to edit it to meet the guidelines.

Q: Can I enter the contest more than once? A: The judges will look at only one video per name listed on the application form. If more than one form is submitted by the same person or organization, the last form received will be entered into the contest.

Q: Is it a cash prize? A: The prize will be a cheque issued to the name of the person on the application form. That person (or group) must have a bank or credit union account to cash the cheque. No substitute names will be allowed, so ensure that the correct name is on the form.

Q: Can a video be submitted by a group? A: Yes, however if successful, the cheque for the prize will be made out to the name on the application form. If your group is incorporated and has a bank or credit union account you will be able to cash the cheque. If not, one person will have their name on the application form, the person who will cash the cheque.

Q: What is the maximum length of the video? A: Two minutes, including the opening title slide and the closing credit slide (see the guidelines and judging criteria). Videos longer than two minutes will not be entered into the competition.

Q: Does the editing need to be done with a cell phone? A: The video needs to be shot using a cell phone but the editing can be done using a phone, computer or other device.

Q: Do I need to write the music? A: We welcome original music. Historical music / songs that are out of copyright can also be used. Sites are available online with music you can use for free without copyright restrictions. Singing songs is fine if you have written the song. Note that the application form includes a statement confirming that the music is not protected by copyright. If you are unsure, do not use it.

Q: Does the music need to have lyrics / words? A: No but words help tell a story and get your message across. A message that inspires or stimulates action is one of the judging criteria.

If you have any other questions, email the contest: ravenvideocontest@gmail.com

RAVEN’s Growing a Better Future initiative launched!

Today RAVEN launched its Growing a Better Future initiative with a meeting at the Greener Village in Fredericton. At the meeting, the RAVEN team was joined by representatives from more than a dozen groups and organizations involved in community and rural food security. By the end of the meeting we had consensus on a way to move forward on an initial action. RAVEN will be working with Greener Village and other collaborators on that first step. Stay tuned to the RAVEN project website and Facebook page, and the RAVEN Friends Facebook page for updates! Here’s the link to the Growing a Better Future initiative page.

New RAVEN team members

The RAVEN project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) is pleased to welcome new team members in January 2020.

New students:

  • Hannah Moore, fourth year Environment & Society major at St. Thomas University.
  • Jessica Wall, Candidate, UNB Masters in Applied Health Research program.
  • Lauren Korn, Masters candidate, UNB English (Creative Writing). Lauren also worked with us in the Summer 2019 term.

New staff and collaborators:

  • Amy Floyd, Senior Policy Analyst – Community Food Security, RAVEN staff and collaborator.
  • Dr. Janice Harvey, Coordinator & Assistant Professor, Environment & Society Program, St. Thomas University, RAVEN co-investigator.

New partner:

Stay tuned in January for news about what we get up to together! Visit our website for the complete RAVEN team list:

https://raven-research.org/people/

Welcome, and happy new year everyone!

RAVEN and Maritime Spaces / Espace Maritime

RAVEN’s partner the Aulnes Projects is a community development cooperative in Pointe-Verte on the Baie des Chaleurs near Belledune. We are collaborating on their new project, Maritime Spaces, with the first show scheduled for February 28-29. From the website:

Maritime Spaces
Maritime Spaces, a road show program, offers discussions in formulas that are outside the box for a sustainable and clean future in New Brunswick. The topics covered are under the three themes dear to Aulnes Projects: sustainable socio-economic development, preservation of the environment and social justice.

The first edition of this Maritime Spaces program will focus on a collaborative project taking place in the Belledune region. Components of this project will explain how they are using research, arts and environmental sustainability education to promote sustainable communities and healthy environments, even in a region marked by heavy industry.

RAVEN team meeting – December 2019

Our final RAVEN team meeting of the year included a round-up of activities we’re currently involved in and plans for the new year. We will have new people starting in January with the project: Amy Floyd and Jessica Wall on the new community food security project, and Janice Harvey and Hannah Moore to work on the divestment campaign and other activities. You can read the minutes here.

Glyphosate debated in the NB Legislature

Opposition to spraying glyphosate on Crown (public) lands and under power lines is the largest environmental movement in New Brunswick at this time. Today the NB Legislature debated banning the practice of spraying poison on public lands. The proposal was defeated. You can read the article here by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell, published in the NB Media Co-op.

A call for the University of New Brunswick to show leadership

RAVEN’s Rachel Bensler is leading the Fossil-Free UNB campaign. Today she published an article in the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s research partner, calling for the University to show leadership and divest from fossil fuels. You can read Rachel’s article here.

Visit to South Knowlesville

Friends of RAVEN Amy Floyd and Leyland Wong-Daugherty organized a learning event in the South Knowlesville community today. The visit began with a pot-luck followed by a sharing circle at the Knowlesville Art and Nature Centre. Visitors to the community, including from the RAVEN project, learned about the history of the South Knowlesville Community Land Trust, the legal options for forming community land trusts, and the experiences of community members in intentional communities in a rural environment.

We also visited the off-grid straw bale round house in the community, and the ARK – Arts Republic of Knowlesville, located in an old farmhouse undergoing a retrofit with straw bale insulation.

On the first weekend of June, South Knowlesville is the site of the Praxis festival, a Permaculture-Inspired Art Festival. Praxis and South Knowlesville are also involved in an ongoing RAVEN project to produce a video about rural activism and rural environmental projects in New Brunswick.

Thank you to the South Knowlesville community for hosting the visitors today!

Climate action: update

RAVEN’s Rachel Bensler, who is leading the Fossil-Free UNB campaign, was invited to speak at the Nov. 29 climate strike outside the NB Legislature in Fredericton. Susan O’Donnell’s story about the rally and the lack of political action inside the legislature was published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. You can read the story here.

RAVEN at OURMedia conference in Brussels

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn made a presentation today at the OURMedia conference in Brussels. Tracy’s presentation, “Biting the hand that feeds: Media Co-operatives challenge corporate control” told the international conference participants about the NB Media Co-op and its partnership with the RAVEN project, and how the NB Media Co-op has survived to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.

RAVEN is very pleased to be represented at the OURMedia conference. The OURMedia gatherings bring together scholars and activists who are studying and making cooperative and independent media, often in difficult political environments and certainly in challenging economic circumstances. Click here for the conference program.

Race-shifters

“Race-shifters” are white people with no or a small amount of Indigenous ancestry who identify as Indigenous. Author Darryl Leroux has been exploring the race-shifting phenomenon for more than two decades. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote a story for the NB Media Co-op about the social scientist’s book launch in Fredericton. The article includes information on the groups across Canada claiming to have Indigenous rights, including the five active organizations in rural New Brunswick. You can read the article here.

Action on glyphosate spraying

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell published a story today about the new bill introduced in the NB Legislature to end the practice of spraying the poison glyphosate on Crown lands and waters. The bill also provides for a fair deal for private woodlot owners that will contribute to more sustainable development in rural communities in the province. You can read the story here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

RAVEN at Eco-Confluence event

RAVEN is a member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), which is having its annual conference and AGM today. At the event, Eco-Confluence 2019, RAVEN’s Rachel Bensler presented an update of the Fossil Free UNB campaign and Susan O’Donnell led a workshop: “Sharing our environmental stories: Media cooperatives in New Brunswick.” The workshop featured a presentation by RAVEN partner, Projet Aulnes about their video co-operative and new project, Maritime Spaces.

The flip to low-carbon mobility – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #19

Matthew Hayes writes the latest letter from the future NB published today. Matthew’s letter is focused on the transit system in Fredericton and offers practical solutions to build a better public transit system based on a decrease in personal vehicle ownership. You can read his article here.

More developments on Upham Mountain

“The New Brunswick government has given a conditional approval to a J.D. Irving-owned gypsum mine near the Hammond River in Upham leaving rural residents upset by the government’s lack of attention to how the mine could affect their well water and roads.” So begins the update by RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn on the ongoing struggle of residents in the area to protect their local water supply and local roads. You can read Tracy’s story here.

RAVEN at NBEN Sustainability Education Alliance conference

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell spoke at the Sustainability Education Alliance (SEA) conference in Sackville today. SEA, an initiative of the NB Environmental Network, is focused on supporting a network of leaders and activists committed to improving the culture of sustainability education. Susan is leading a team on Art and Sustainability Education.

RAVEN team meeting – October 2019

Today the RAVEN team met to hear from NB Media Co-op partner representative Sophie Lavoie about her experience participating in the Wabanaki Land-Based Learning course and the opportunities for working together with First Nations in that region of the province. We also reviewed the success of the RAVEN Voices for the Environment Week events. You can read the meeting minutes here.

Calling all UNB alumni to support fossil fuel divestment

RAVEN’s Patrick Donovan published a story in the NB Media Co-op about the UNB divestment campaign. The article describes the history and current state of the campaign and notes that the petition is open to all UNB alumni. You can read Patrick’s article here.

RAVEN and NB Media Co-op staff nominated for environmental award

RAVEN and NB Media Co-op members Tracy Glynn and Susan O’Donnell were nominated for an environmental journalism award by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. Although they did not win, the packed award ceremony, the Eco Hero Gala, in Fredericton was an excellent opportunity to network with other environmental supporters and activists across the province.

The ceremony was held on the 50th anniversary of environmental activism by the CCNB.

At the ceremony, Sarah Blenis of the Protect Upham Mountain group won a community leadership award. Sarah was spokesperson for the group profiled in several articles written by Tracy Glynn and published in the NB Media Co-op.

Unearthing Justice: How to protect your community from the mining industry – presentations in Fredericton, Saint John and Sackville

Mark your calendars!

Joan Kuyek, community organizer, author and co-founder of MiningWatch Canada, will be launching her latest book, Unearthing Justice: How To Protect Your Community from the Mining Industry:

The New Brunswick events are supported by RAVEN – Rural Action and Voices for the Environment at the University of New Brunswick, the Canada Research Chair in Global and International Studies at St. Thomas University, the Department of Politics and International Relations at Mount Allison University, MiningWatch Canada and Between the Lines.

About Unearthing Justice

The mining industry continues to be at the forefront of colonial dispossession around the world. It controls information about its intrinsic costs and benefits, propagates myths about its contribution to the economy, shapes government policy and regulation, and deals ruthlessly with its opponents.

Brimming with case studies, anecdotes, resources, and illustrations, Unearthing Justice exposes the mining process and its externalized impacts on the environment, Indigenous Peoples, communities, workers, and governments. But, most importantly, the book shows how people are fighting back. Whether it is to stop a mine before it starts, to get an abandoned mine cleaned up, to change laws and policy, or to mount a campaign to influence investors, Unearthing Justice is an essential handbook for anyone trying to protect the places and people they love.

Order your copy directly from Between the Lines – or ask your local independent bookstore. Books will also be available at the launch events in NB.

Updates on the Fossil-Free UNB campaign

Two updates to share:

  • Good news from the UNB Student Union, the organization that represents the 6,000 undergraduate and professional students at UNB Fredericton. Last night at their meeting, they endorsed the current Fossil-Free UNB campaign, with the caveat that divestment cannot be used as an excuse by the UNB administration to raise student fees. Thanks to RAVEN students Rachel Bensler and Patrick Donovan who made the successful presentation to the student union at their last meeting in September.
  • Today Rachel Bensler (the UNB student leading the Fossil-Free UNB Orange Square campaign) and Susan O’Donnell (RAVEN project lead investigator) met with the UNB Board of Governors investment committee. You can view a copy of our presentation here. Our meeting ended with a commitment by the committee to share information with us about their fossil fuel investments. Here’s the link to the UNB divestment campaign.

If you have a connection to UNB, have a look at Orange Square petition, the list of people who have signed already, and the email to add your signature. The link is here.

The FF UNB campaign’s next step is to create a booklet with information about the contribution of the fossil fuel industry to the climate crisis, the importance of divestment from fossil fuel infrastructure, the investments of UNB in fossil fuels, questions and answers about divestment, and how to get involved in the campaign.

RAVEN in new action group on the Sisson Mine project

RAVEN is an associate member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). Along with other member groups we are forming a new NBEN Caucus addressing the Sisson Mine project.

In announcing the new group, the NBEN pointed out that this proposed mine and its tailings pond would be one of the largest tungsten mines in the world, and has potential to seriously impact the Nashwaak watershed.  The member groups initiating this new Caucus include the Council of Canadians Fredericton Chapter, the Sierra Club Canada Foundation Atlantic Canada Chapter, and the RAVEN Project. We will keep everyone informed as the caucus actions develop.

And then, faster than we thought possible… A letter from New Brunswick’s future #17

Erin Seatter writes the Letter from the future NB this week, dated 2040, from Vancouver. In that year, people have re-built our society after realizing that nobody else was going to do it for us. You can read Erin’s letter here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

Sept 27: Women resisting extractivism

The RAVEN project and the NB Media Co-op’s Voices for the Environment week brings you this event on Sept. 27.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2111324139175403/

The Women Resisting Extractivism and Bridging the Scholar-Activist Divide

When: Friday, Sept. 27 at 2:00pm
Where: Brian Mulroney Hall Rotunda, 3rd Floor, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, Unceded Wolastoqey Territory

Resource extraction – including open-pit mines, mountain top coal removal, gas storage in salt caverns, fracking for shale gas, massive tailings dams and the dumping of mine waste into natural fish-bearing water bodies – is facing fierce resistance right here on unceded Wabanaki territory and across the world. Rural and Indigenous women are among those occupying the front lines of resistance movements against resource extraction. The women defending their land and livelihoods do so while facing gender-based violence.

Hear from scholar-activists on the latest struggles against resource extraction on Turtle Island and beyond. How can scholars contribute to a more just world in the face of runaway resource extraction and climate change? What is the potential for a decolonial feminist praxis?

Panelists:

Ramona Nicholas, Wolastoqey grandmother, UNB Elder-in-Residence and Knowledge Keeper, PhD Candidate and MiningWatch Canada board member, on the struggle to protect Wolastoqey territory from the Sisson mine project.

Sherry Pictou, Mi’kmaw woman from L’sɨtkuk, Professor of Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, on Indigenous feminist resistance to resource extraction.

Shannon Bell, Professor of Sociology at Virginia Tech and author of Our Roots Run Deep as Ironweed: Appalachian Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice, and Fighting King Coal on the women resisting coal in Appalachia.

Chair: Tracy Glynn, Instructor, St. Thomas University and University of New Brunswick, doctoral researcher with RAVEN and MiningWatch Canada board member.

With a photovoice exhibition and refreshments. All welcome.

Organized by RAVEN Rural Action & Voices for the Environment.

Supported by: NB Media Co-op, Peace and Friendship Alliance, MiningWatch Canada, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network- BTS, Canada Research Chair in Global & International Studies, STU’s Environment & Society Program and UNB’s International Development Studies Program.

Contact: raven.unb@gmail.com.

Shannon Elizabeth Bell’s visit to UNB

During our Voices for the Environment Week, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op invited professor Shannon Bell to visit us. Shannon is with the department of Sociology in Virginia Tech, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

You can meet Shannon at two other RAVEN events: the RAVEN project birthday party on Thursday evening and the Friday panel, the Women Resisting Extractivism. See the Voices for the Environment week in the paragraph below for details of those events. At the Friday panel, Dr. Bell will also be displaying photovoice panels from her work in rural coal-mining communities in West Virginia.

If you are interested in Dr. Bell’s work, please check out her paper: Bridging Activism and the Academy: Exposing Environmental Injustices Through the Feminist Ethnographic Method of Photovoice

You can read and download her paper here. The abstract is below.

Abstract
The neoliberal rejection of a strong role for governmental regulation of industry has led to increasingly negative consequences for the environment and the people who are forced to bear a disproportionate share of the health and safety hazards created by corporate polluters. The voices of the victims of environmental injustice often go unheard in the policy arena, while an arsenal of paid industry lobbyists exerts undue influence and power over legislative and regulatory agency processes. In this paper, I argue that we as social scientists are frequently positioned in such a way that we could serve as links between the people we study and policymakers, providing an avenue for exposing the ways that neoliberal policies negatively affect the health, safety, and well-being of disenfranchised groups. Through presenting a “Photovoice” project I conducted with 54 women living in five coal-mining communities in southern West Virginia, I demonstrate how feminist activist ethnography, as a distinct type of activist research, can be used for social science inquiry while simultaneously providing an opportunity for research participants’ stories to be heard—and acted upon—by those with political power.

Sept 26: RAVEN’s 1st birthday party!

During our Voices for the Environment Week, RAVEN is celebrating its first birthday. Our project was launched a year ago.

On September 26 we are inviting all RAVEN friends to join our first birthday party at a rural farm near Fredericton. Friends of RAVEN Tom Beckley and Louise Comeau kindly offered to host the celebration gathering starting at 4pm. Louise says their bountiful garden will provide enough food for the RAVEN friends who join us – and please do!

Address: #848 Route 616, Keswick Ridge, NB. Directions:

  • From the south side of the Wolastoq (St. John River), cross the river to the north side at the Mactaquac Dam Bridge and turn left onto Route 105. Continue for about 2km, turn right onto Rocky Road and continue till it ends. Left onto Route 616 and continue until Tom and Louise’s laneway on the left, #848 Route 616.
  • From the north side of the Wolastoq, follow Route 105 until McKeen’s Corner / intersection with Route 616 and head up to laneway #848 on Route 616.

Sept 25: Teach-in on citizen responses to the climate crisis

During our Voices for the Environment week, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op invite you to the Wednesday, Sept 25 event: a teach-in with STU professor Janice Harvey about citizen responses to the climate crisis.

Join us at noon in room 120 of Marshall D’Avery Hall (UNB Education Building, 10 Mackay Dr.) It’s the big room inside the main entrance across from the cafeteria. Parking is behind the building. Visitor parking passes are free for all UNB events, from the facilities / security building inside the UNB entrance on King’s College Rd.

Dr. Harvey will lead the teach-in with her thoughts about actions that activists and social movements take or could take to raise public awareness of the climate crisis, specifically looking at civil disobedience and non-violent direct action. A talking circle format will support participants to share experiences with and reactions to different types of citizen environmental activism.

RAVEN and more than 100 environmental groups in the province are members of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). As a background resource for the teach-in, participants can download an information booklet from 2004 prepared by NBEN: Legal Information for Environmental Groups:

English:https://www.nben.ca/en/information-and-resources-for-engos-legal

French:https://www.nben.ca/fr/legal

RAVEN student on CBC radio – eco-anxiety and divestment

Rachel Bensler, a RAVEN research assistant, was interviewed by CBC radio in a segment that played this morning. The focus was “eco-anxiety” and she also spoke about the fossil fuel divestment campaign at UNB. You can listen to the interview, on Information Morning – Fredericton, from this link. Rachel you made some excellent points, well done!

Information on the divestment campaign, Fossil-Free UNB is here.

Sept 24: UNB and STU students for fossil fuel divestment

During our Voices for the Environment Week, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op invite you to the Tuesday, Sept 24 event: discussion with the UNB and STU students leading the Orange Square campaigns for fossil fuel divestment at each of the universities.

The campaigns were launched on Sept. 20 at the Climate Strike and rally at UNB.

Join UNB student Rachel Bensler and STU student Hannah Moore at noon in room 120 of Marshall D’Avery Hall (UNB Education Building, 10 Mackay Dr.) It’s the big room inside the main entrance across from the cafeteria. Parking is behind the building. Visitor parking passes are free for all UNB events, from the facilities / security building inside the UNB entrance on King’s College Rd.

University divestment campaigns are happening globally. The RAVEN project is supporting the student-led Orange Square divestment campaign at UNB that is working together with the Orange Square student-led campaign at STU.

Here is the info and update page on RAVEN’s support for the UNB campaign.

Poetry for the climate crisis: a spoken word workshop with El Jones

As part of our Voices for the Environment week, the RAVEN project at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton and the NB Media Co-op have invited spoken word poet El Jones from Halifax to lead a workshop: Poetry for the Climate Crisis. 

The workshop will be held at UNB on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 9am to 1pm and Sunday Sept. 22 from 9am to noon. 

The workshop is free of charge and stipends will be offered to participants who need compensation to take time off work or for childcare costs. There will be a $20 refundable deposit to hold your spot, which will be returned at the workshop.

If you are interested to participate, please register at the link below. We are planning to keep registration open until midnight on Saturday, Sept. 14, but will keep it open longer if we need to.

On the following Monday, registrants will receive an email confirming if they have been selected to participate, with further details. The workshop is limited to 10 participants.

link to register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/climatepoetry

Global week of climate action kicks-off in Fredericton

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell published a story in the online NB Media Co-op about the first day in the week of global climate action, Sept. 20. The story focused on events in Fredericton. Read the story here. The events started with Poetry for the Climate Crisis, sponsored by RAVEN and the NB Media Co-op and continued with the Climate Strike organized by Fridays for Future Fredericton and finally, with a march to the premier’s office organized by Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick.

Continuing the slow decline, but that’s okay – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #16

Cheryl Johnson writes the latest Letter from the future NB, dated 2049. In that year, different groups of people “are working together and sharing their knowledge and compassion. We have to be united, or life is too hard otherwise.” You can read Cheryl’s letter here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

Fossil Free UNB and Orange Square campaign is launched!

The Fossil-Free UNB and Orange square campaign is urging the UNB administration to work with us to divest university investments from fossil fuel companies. More about the campaign here.

On its launch date, Sept. 20, the campaign collected almost 200 signatures! The petition and list of signatories is available on the Orange Square page of the RAVEN site. Stay tuned for further activities and updates in October…

Sept 20: Poetry for the climate crisis

Facebook Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/399570750697094/

RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op began our Voices for the Environment Week with an outdoor poetry event: Poetry for the Climate Crisis, featuring our guest El Jones from Halifax and four dynamic poets living in New Brunswick: Sue Sinclair, Rebecca Salazar, Lauren R. Korn and Emily Skov-Nielsen.

This kick-off event was at noon on Friday, Sept. 20 at the UNB campus in Fredericton at Poets’ Corner at the UNB Quad in front of the HIL library.

The event included the launch of the Orange Square campaigns for fossil fuel divestment at the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University.

Our event collaborated with the student-led Fridays for Future Climate Strike at the same time and location.

Poets’ Bios

El Jones is a spoken word poet, an educator, journalist, and a community activist living in African Nova Scotia. She was the fifth Poet Laureate of Halifax. El was recently named the Nancy’s Chair of Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University for the 2017-2019 term. Her book of spoken word poetry, Live from the Afrikan Resistance! (Roseway Press) was published in 2014.

Sue Sinclair is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Heaven’s Thieves, winner of the Pat Lowther Award for the best book of poems by a Canadian woman. She edits for Brick Books and teaches creative writing here at the University of New Brunswick, where she is also editor of The Fiddlehead.

Rebecca Salazar is the author of poetry chapbook Guzzle (Anstruther Press), released in 2016. Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, she is currently a PhD candidate and Vanier scholar in New Brunswick.

Lauren R. Korn is an M.A. student of Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick. She was a research assistant for RAVEN during its 2019 Summer Institute.

Emily Skov-Nielsen is the author of the chapbook Volta (Anstruther Press), and an MA in English/Creative Writing graduate from UNB. Her poems
have appeared in numerous literary journals across Canada. Her first full-length book of poetry will be published by Brick Books in fall 2020.

Voices for the Environment week Sept 20-27

This year September 20 to 27 is the global week of action on the climate crisis. As members of the local and global movements for social justice and environmental action, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op will be hosting “Voices for the Environment” week.

Below is the list of events with links to the details of times and locations including Keswick Ridge, and the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University in Fredericton.

Friday, September 20, noon: Poetry for the Climate Crisis with El Jones, Sue Sinclair, Rebecca Salazar, Lauren R. Korn and Emily Skov-Nielson, followed by Fridays for the Future Climate Strike. More info and poster here.

Saturday and Sunday, September 21-22, 9am to 1pm: Spoken word poetry workshop with El Jones – Poetry for the Climate Crisis. More info and registration link here.

Tuesday, September 24, noon: UNB and STU students Rachel Bensler and Hannah Moore speak out about fossil fuel divestment at the universities.

Wednesday, September 25, noon: STU Prof Janice Harvey’s teach-in on citizen responses to the climate crisis.

Thursday, September 26, 4pm: RAVEN’s first birthday party in Keswick Ridge. All RAVEN friends invited to share a harvest meal!

Friday, September 27, 2pm: The Women Resisting Extractivism and Bridging the Scholarship-Activist Divide: Ramona Nicholas, Sherry Pictou, Shannon Bell, Tracy Glynn. Plus a photovoice exhibition!

Who saved the world? Girls! A letter from New Brunswick’s future #15

Lauren R. Korn worked with RAVEN during the summer, writing articles on environmental and rural community issues published by our partner, the NB Media Co-op. This week, Lauren has contributed to the Letter from New Brunswick’s Future series with a strong vision of a future province where reproductive and other rights are respected. You can read Lauren’s article here.

Water in New Brunswick: rights and the environment versus big business

In his final story as RAVEN’s environmental action reporter, Abram Lutes wrote about water infrastructure in New Brunswick. You can read Abram’s article here. Privatization of water infrastructure is a very contentious topic, with CUPE in particular speaking out against it. As Abram’s article relates, both Moncton and Saint John operate their water infrastructure through public-private partnerships.

Local governance and adaptions to the climate crisis – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #14

The latest installment in the Letter from New Brunswick’s Future series is written by Adje Prado. Adje imagines a local governance structured around watersheds, what a brilliant concept! You can read his article here. RAVEN is working in partnership with Adje on a project about rural community adaptations to climate change.

A guaranteed annual income – Letter from New Brunswick’s future #13

Amy Floyd writes this week’s Letter from New Brunswick future. Amy’s vision is inspiring and makes economic sense. Read it here. The impact of the scheme is explored in different social areas. Thought-provoking.

Flooding highlights support system disparities in rural New Brunswick

RAVEN’s Lauren R. Korn published another article today about rural New Brunswick, this one about the impact of flooding on mental health in the province’s rural communities. She interviewed Julia Woodhall-Melnik, who is working with her research team at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. You can read Lauren’s article here.

The tale of Skutik – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #12

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder and her collaborators in Charlotte County wrote this week’s Letter from New Brunswick’s future: The tale of Skutik, written from the perspective of Skutik, the St. Croix River. You can read the story here.

RAVEN’s further engagement with UNB on fossil fuel divestment

In July, RAVEN sent a letter to the UNB strategic planning group to request that the university’s new strategic plan include divestment of fossil fuels. We asked the university administration to work with us and other members of the university community on the divestment campaign. You can read the letter here.

In August, we contacted the secretariat of the university’s board of governor’s (the governing body) and the university president, with a copy of our letter and asked again for collaboration on the divestment campaign. The secretariat confirmed on August 20 that our request was circulated to the board of governors. We look forward to a positive response!

Tina Oh: challenging complicity with the fossil fuel industry

RAVEN’s Abram Lutes is continuing his research and writing in preparation for RAVEN’s support for the UNB fossil fuel divestment campaign. His most recent article includes an interview with Tina Oh and the campaign at Mount Allison University in Sackville. You can read the story here.

“What was their name again?” Letter from NB’s future #11

Alain Deneault writes about a future NB when people in rural communities are using as community centres the abandoned gas stations once owned by … what was their name again? You can read his letter here, published by the NB Media Co-op in English and by the publication Astheure in French, as part of RAVEN’s Letter from the future NB series.

The joys of rural life – Letter from NB’s future #10

Teri McMackin wrote this week’s Letter from NB’s future, from Petitcodiac in August 2030. She describes a wonderful rural lifestyle that could be possible in 20 years if the right choices are made now. You can read Teri’s letter here.

RAVEN’s Daniel Tubb and Abram Lutes are the series editor. The letters are published by RAVEN partner the NB Media Co-op.

How our unknown future is affecting our mental health

RAVEN’s Lauren Korn wrote an article published by the NB Media Co-op today about the mental health impacts of the climate crisis, a topic that is only starting to be explored. Her article includes information from a report released recently by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. You can read Lauren’s article here.

Gardening the margins – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #9

The ninth letter in RAVEN’s series with the NB Media Co-op is by Kylie Bergfalk. Her letter, from August 2030, is an inspiring vision for Fredericton with vegetable and flower gardens instead of lawns. So much natural produce! Thank you Kylie. You can read her letter here.

RAVEN calls on UNB to end fossil fuel investments

RAVEN is based at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) which is currently developing its strategic plan for the future. This week, RAVEN’s principal investigator Dr. Susan O’Donnell sent a letter to the UNB strategic planning committee asking the university to include divestment from fossil fuels in its strategic plan.

The key text of the letter states:

The RAVEN project would like to work with the UNB administration on a campaign to end any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest from direct ownership and commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe this campaign at UNB will support not only an ethical financial portfolio but also the wellbeing of its current and future students and rural communities across the province, who deserve to have a future not defined by climate chaos.”

The letter can be accessed here.

Language and the Green New Deal

RAVEN’s Lauren Korn, a UNB M.A. student in Creative Writing, shares her interesting perspective on language and the Green New Deal. The article includes an interview with Margo Sheppard the primary organizer of the Green New Deal meeting in Fredericton in June. You can read Lauren’s story here. RAVEN was a partner in the June meeting event.

The influence of corporations on higher education in NB

The RAVEN project is based at the University of New Brunswick. Like all such educational institutions across Canada, UNB has representatives of corporations on its governing body. How might this influence research at our university and other institutions across the province? RAVEN’s Abram Lutes explored this question today in a story for RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. Read the story here.

Russell Diabo on the termination of Indigenous rights

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) held their annual meeting in Fredericton this week, and policy and legal analyst, and environmental and Indigenous rights activist Russell Diabo spoke at the University of New Brunswick on the last day of the event. RAVEN’s Abram Lutes covered the story for our project partner, the NB Media Co-op. Diabo’s talk has implications for First Nation communities across the province and across Canada. You can read the story here.

Local food for local communities: Letter from NB’s future #8

Stephanie Coburn writes the latest letter from New Brunswick’s future. NB Media Co-op publishes the letters in collaboration with RAVEN. You can read Stephanie’s letter here. She is a farmer with a vision for how local food production can sustain local communities in the province. Her letter, from July 2040, explains how this would work. It’s a wonderful vision.

Environmental Impact Assessment for Milltown Dam project

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder writes about the EIA for the Milltown Dam project. NB Power is proposing to remove the generating station and dam, which will open up new possibilities for the St. Croix River. The EIA will be interesting for several reasons, including that the river is on the international boundary with the US. Read Kim’s article here.

RAVEN in Sussex: July 26

Tell Your Rural Story with PhotovoiceFacebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/events/2301098299966546/

Want to tell the story of your community through photographs? Join folks from Sussex and surrounding communities in a photovoice project this July/August. Photovoice is a wonderful way of showing the world what matters in your community. 

When: Friday, July 26 at 6:00pm
Where: The AX, 12 Maple Ave., Sussex

With a light meal. Participants must be 19 years and older. 

This project has been reviewed by the Research Ethics Board of the University of New Brunswick and is on file as REB 2018-099.

For more information, contact Tracy at raven.unb@gmail.com.

For more information about RAVEN, visit: raven-research.org.

Taking back our resources: A letter from NB’s future #7

Chris Rouse is the author of the latest letter from New Brunswick’s future. NB Media Co-op publishes the letters in collaboration with RAVEN. You can read Chris’ letter here. Chris writes his letter from his home in the Kingston Peninsula in July 2050, reflecting on how New Brunswickers took back control of their energy generation… and about his love story.

More on the Milltown dam story

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder is following the story of the end of the NB Power Milltown Generating Station and the removal of the dam on the St. Croix River. Her second story for the NB Media Co-op on this issue discusses the issues raised in the Open House meeting in St. Stephen with the local community on July 11. You can read her story here.

Truth-fullness: A letter from NB’s future #6

Ajay Parasram is the author of the newest contribution to the series: A letter from New Brunswick’s future. NB Media Co-op publishes the letters in collaboration with RAVEN. You can read Ajay’s letter here. Ajay, writing from K’jipuktuk [Halifax] in 2030, looks back on the time when workers and all community members refused to work on destructive projects and began sharing truths.

Milltown plant closure has environmental impacts

The NB Power generating station in Milltown is the oldest operating hydro-electric station in Canada. In June, NB Power announced it was closing the plant. RAVEN’s Kim Reeder wrote an article about the potential positive impacts on the environment. You can read her story here, published in the NB Media Co-op.

RAVEN at the Sackville EOS Eco-energy home show

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell and Brian Beaton learned about the latest thinking and practices for sustainable homes at the show in Sackville on July 6. Brian Beaton wrote a story about the event published in the NB Media Co-op. You can read Brian’s story here.

A voice critical of spraying glyphosate is purged

In her article for the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn writes about Rod Cumberland, recently let go of his teaching position at the Atlantic Forestry College in Fredericton. Cumberland is a well-known critic of the practice of spraying glyphosate on planted forests, and therefore is a foe of this industrial forestry practice in the province. You can read Tracy’s article here.

Go east, young woman: Letter from the future #5

What would happen if fallow farms were made available to homesteaders. Could it bring back people to our province to work on the land? Friend of RAVEN Leland Wong-Daugherty imagines it in A letter from New Brunswick’s Future #5. You can read it here.

Everyone is invited to submit an idea for the Letter from the future series. Here’s the link to all the letters and the call for submissions.

A just transition for workers at NB Power’s Belledune plant

RAVEN’s Abram Lutes was with the team that recently visited the Belledune industrial facilities. NB Power’s Belledune plant is the last in the province to burn coal as its energy source. The federal government has mandated that burning coal to generate energy must end by 2030. In this article for the NB Media Co-op, Abram writes about a recent task force report on a just transition for workers at the Belledune plant and others across the country. You can read the article here.

More links between fossil fuels in NB and human rights internationally

RAVEN’s environmental activism reporter, Abram Lutes, published another story today in the NB Media Co-op that links oil imported, refined and exported in New Brunswick with human rights violations internationally. You can read his story here.

Abram’s earlier story about “blood coal” from Columbia and the NB Power Plant in Belledune was published in June.

Rural community development success in Newfoundland

During his visit with the RAVEN team to St. Andrews, Brian Beaton attended a presentation by Bonavista, NL mayor John Norman. Afterward, Brian wrote this story for the NB Media Co-op about how the community rallied from the loss of the cod fishery to build a strong community identity and revitalize heritage and community spaces. You can read his story here.

Rural assemblies: Letter from the future #4

What would happen if rural community members took governance into their own hands and organized rural assemblies? RAVEN’s Abram Lutes imagines it in A letter from New Brunswick’s Future #4. You can read it here.

Everyone is invited to submit an idea for the Letter from the future series. Here’s the link to all the letters and the call for submissions.