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 Lauren R. Korn examines the problems with fast fashion in her profile of Sackville’s Jeska Grue. Among other facts, Korn’s article in the NB Media Co-op states that the fashion industry is, after the oil industry, the planet’s largest polluter. You can read her story here.
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!
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.
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 RAVEN project is supporting the fossil fuel divestment campaign at UNB. RAVEN’s Abram Lutes wrote an article this week about the history of the campaign. You can read his article here.
Many rural communities across the province are developing or implementing climate change adaptation plans. In this story published in the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Lauren Korn profiles the village of Port Elgin and their plans for the future climate. You can read her letter here.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
RAVEN is hosting a meme workshop on Tuesday, August 6, 9am to 1pm at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, facilitated by the Wild Meme Unit of the Maritime Social Innovation Lab, St. Stephen. It’s free of charge but let us know if you plan to join us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tell Your Rural Story with PhotovoiceFacebook:
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 email@example.com.
For more information about RAVEN, visit: raven-research.org.
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.
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.
RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell interviewed Green Party MLA Megan Mitton for an article in the NB Media Co-op. Mitton is the most consistent political voice for climate action in the NB Legislature and has also spoken to NB youth at climate strikes. You can read the interview here.
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.
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’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.
In her review and discussion of a new book, Chop Suey Nation, RAVEN’s Lauren Korn explains how the dreams of many Chinese immigrants brought them to opening restaurants across rural Canada. You can read her article here, published in the NB Media Co-op.
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.
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.
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.
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.
RAVEN co-investigator Daniel Tubb analyzes his flight paths and carbon footprint and explores possible alternatives. Electric rail anyone? Read Daniels’ story here, published by the NB Media Co-op.
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.
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.
RAVEN Summer Institute and UNB doctoral candidate Lisa Jodoin recently participated in the Praxis festival in Knowlesville. Weeks later, Lisa is still reflecting on everything she experienced there. She published a story about it today in the NB Media Co-op. You can read it here.
RAVEN Summer Institute member Abram Lutes is a board member and writer for the NB Media Co-op. He interviewed Madawaska Maliseet First Nation Chief Patricia Bernard for a story about the “right to fish” in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. You can read his story here.
We’re starting to get up to speed with some of the activities happening in the Bocabec / St. Stephen / St. Andrews area of the province. On June 25, RAVEN’s Kim Reeder, Brian Beaton and Susan O’Donnell met in Bocabec with two local multi-talented people – they are writers, activists, entrepreneurs, artists, visionaries. We discussed common interests and potential future plans together. Afterwards we attended a community gathering in St. Andrews to hear from the mayor of Bonavista, NL about how he and his team are building a “sense of place” and community regeneration through heritage restoration.
The RAVEN team met today, the minutes are here. We discussed our individual and group work and community engagement efforts, and the articles we are working on for publication by our partner the NB Media Co-op. Our meeting followed a short workshop on making cell phone videos by Casey Burkholder.
The NB Media Co-op published letter from the future #3 written by Friend of RAVEN Tom Beckley. His theme is the Acadian forest, 20 shades of green. You can read it here.
The RAVEN team returned yesterday from our visit to Belledune, Pointe-Verte and the beautiful Baie-des-Chaleurs. We were pleased to spend time with the local hosts for our visit, Projet Aulnes, located in La Barque cooperative in Pointe-Verte. Our visit this week is a follow-up to our earlier visit in April.
RAVEN is pleased to announce that Projet Aulnes has agreed to be a partner in the RAVEN project moving forward. We will share more news in future as we develop our common project of work. Stay tuned!
RAVEN’s cell phone music video contest received so many interesting videos. The judges had a challenge to choose the five winning videos and the runner up. You can see those videos here
We asked the other video makers if we could also share their work, and three agreed to it. Thank you for making the videos available!
New Brunswick to green economy by the Linnansaari Family
Alternative Methods by Sasha Leger, with Alex Cormier and Matthieu Gaudet
Be an Eco Hero by Kathleen Maclean
Another article published by the NB Media Co-op in collaboration with RAVEN. This one describes the action and inaction inside and outside the NB Legislature related to the climate crisis. You can read it here.
What would need to happen to ensure that rural communities and all communities in NB are better connected in the future? The NB Media Co-op published letter from the future #2 written by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell. She wrote it from Belledune in 2050. You can read it here.
Everyone is welcome to join a community gathering at La Barque Co-operative in Pointe-Verte on Tuesday, June 18 from 5 to 7pm. La Barque is hosting visitors working on a collaborative project focused on the Belledune region. The project is using research, art, video, digital media and sustainability education to promote sustainable rural communities and healthy environments in a region with heavy industry. At the gathering at La Barque, the visitors will share information about their project and their impressions of their tour of the Belledune industrial facilities earlier in the day. The gathering is organized by project members at Productions Aulnes in La Barque for visitors from the NB Environmental Network (NBEN), Université de Moncton, and RAVEN at the University of New Brunswick.
Tout le monde est invité à se joindre à la réunion communautaire de La Coopérative la Barque à Pointe Verte, le mardi 18 juin de 17 à 19 heures. La Barque reçoit les visiteurs qui travaillent sur un projet collaboratif qui se concentre sur la région de Belledune. Le projet utilise la recherche, les arts, des vidéos, des médias numériques et l’éducation à la viabilité pour promouvoir les collectivités rurales durables et des environnements sains dans une région avec des industries lourdes. Lors de la rencontre avec les membres de La Barque, les visiteurs pourront échanger des renseignements sur leurs projets et leurs impressions de la tournée des installations industrielles de Belledune plus tôt dans la journée. Cette rencontre est organisée par les membres du projet Productions Aulnes de La Barque pour les visiteurs du Réseau environnemental du Nouveau-Brunswick (RENB), de l’Université de Moncton, de l’université du Nouveau-Brunswick et le Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick.
RAVEN’s Daniel Tubb and Abram Lutes have teamed up with the NB Media Co-op to solicit and edit a series of articles imagining the future of New Brunswick. The call for submission is here. We encourage all friends of RAVEN to explore your ideas and imagine the future you want!
The Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick issued a statement signed by all the Chiefs strongly opposing the province’s “secret lifting of the fracking moratorium” in the Sussex area. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote an article for the NB Media Co-op about this and related resistance including in the NB legislative assembly last week. The article is here.
This week RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn, Kim Reeder, Mary Aspinall, Amy Savile and Susan O’Donnell are presenting our first papers at academic conferences during the 2019 Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Kim is at the Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC) satellite conference in Newfoundland and yesterday Susan was able to participate in Vancouver at her presentation by video. Kim’s abstract is here. The paper is based on our study with partner CSRNO in northwestern New Brunswick that we are preparing to submit to peer review.
On Monday, Mary presented to the Canadian Sociological Association conference and today to the Canadian Communication Association conference in Vancouver. Both of Mary’s presentations are based on a manuscript currently in peer review co-authored by Susan, Tracy and Tom Beckley.
Amy and Tracy, and Susan, are making their presentations today to at the Canadian Sociological Association conference in Vancouver. The first presentation is based on a paper currently in preparation for peer review by Amy, Tracy and Susan.
You can read the abstracts for Mary, Amy, Tracy and Susan here. We are all busy at the Congress. In Vancouver about 9,000 people have registered although with more than 80 conferences happening at the same time, the groups in each session are small and great for conversations. We will be coming home with many new ideas to shape RAVEN’s activities over the next year.
RAVEN’s Lauren Korn wrote an article for the NB Media Co-op: Learn, love, act: An interview with NatureNB’s Vanessa Roy-McDougall. Lauren’s interview highlights how everyone can make a practical contribution to decrease the degradation of our environment: appreciate our wild spaces, understand how ecosystems work, and protect and sustain them. NatureNB is an organization that provides the resources to help people do just that. You can read the article here.
RAVEN invites all our friends and supporters to the Green New Deal community event in Fredericton. If you live nearby please car-share with your neighbours to join us. These important discussions are happening across the country this month. Come and have your say and listen to what other community members think about shaping a better future for all of us.
This Town Hall meeting will be held Tuesday, June 18th from 7pm to 9pm in Fredericton (Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church St.) An event page is here.
You may have heard that the non-partisan Green New Deal initiative has been generating excitement across Canada since May, when 60 NGOs committed themselves and their memberships to it. Since then, more than 90 committed organizations and 50,000 citizens have endorsed the Pact for a Green New Deal. You can read the text here.
The event partners are the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians, RAVEN, the Wolastoqey Grand Council, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) – Local 054, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, NB Community Harvest Gardens, Environment Committee of the United Church of Canada, Fredericton Anti-Poverty Association, No-One is Illegal.
RAVEN and the Friends of Hammond River Valley are co-hosting a workshop at the Lighthouse River Centre, 1075 Main St. in Hampton, June 25, 7-9pm. Everyone is welcome!
Do you work on land, water and air protection? Clean energy? Regenerative farming? Sustainable forestry? Are you interested in telling your rural community’s story in a collaborative way?
Learn about storytelling methods, photovoice (photography and storytelling), cellphilming (taking films with cell phones) and participatory video.
Here’s the Facebook event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/447811945788333/
Or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
RAVEN’s Lauren Korn visited the Gagetown community event on climate action earlier this week. She wrote a story for the NB Media Co-op, which you can read here. Friend of RAVEN Marilyn Merritt-Gray is co-chair of the rural group VOICES – Voices for Sustainable Environments and Communities. Great to see that space was made at the meeting for students in the community to share their views. So inspiring to see the youth taking a strong stand on their future. The article includes information about a proposed Gagetown youth caucus. Thanks Lauren.
RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell participated at the annual meeting of the ECHO network from May 28 to 30, hosted by the ECHO partners Université de Moncton and the New Brunswick Environmental Network. A highlight was the day trip to rural communities along the Northumberland Straight, including the Kouchibouguac National Park, an information session on “The Irving Influence” by a number of environmental champions at the Irving Eco Centre, a memorable visit with the students and local leaders and community members at the school in Cocagne and an Acadian kitchen party at the nearby Ferme Marcel-Goguen. RAVEN and the ECHO partners are currently planning a visit to Belledune in June, to develop a common project over the summer.
RAVEN team members Tracy Glynn and Daniel Tubb visited Sarah Blenis and Cheryl Johnson in Upham, New Brunswick on May 24. Sarah and Cheryl are at the forefront of organizing residents’ concerns with the proposed Hammond River Holdings gypsum mine.
Sarah’s parents moved to Upham in the 1980s and she has lived in the community all her life. Cheryl is a newcomer from Ontario, who has spent almost two decades in the area. The women share a love of the Hammond River, its mountains, and its forests. The only meat Cheryl and her family eats is the rabbit, deer, and partridge she and her family hunt.
Cheryl opened a binder and revealed an archive of editions of The Brief, the NB Media Co-op’s monthly printed broadsheet publication. The June edition of The Brief will feature a story about how Upham residents are concerned about a gypsum mine owned by J.D. Irving, which threatens local wetlands, the Hammond River, and the quality of life of rural residents.
Both women have studied the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the mine and are concerned that how the project is being granted loopholes by the province. Experts, who have reviewed other EIAs, have expressed their own concerns. The NB Media Co-op broke a story two weeks ago about how Upham residents are under surveillance by the RCMP over their concerns around the proposed mine.
Over a sun room table, the four discussed ways that RAVEN could support storytelling in rural New Brunswick. Watch for details of a storytelling workshop by RAVEN in nearby Hampton in late June.
After the meeting, Cheryl drove Tracy and Daniel to the entrance to the site of the proposed mine, a location which has been clearcut, and which is surrounded by stunning mountains, forests, wetlands and rural dwellers.
Will J.D. Irving get their way once more, or will Upham residents who don’t want the mine be able to stop it? What is clear is that Upham residents have chosen to raise their voices in an effort to protect their community.
The RAVEN team met today. The agenda included introducing the (wonderful!) new and returning students for the summer (listed on the people page) and discussing the ongoing engagements with rural communities in New Brunswick. The minutes are here. Following the meeting we welcomed RAVEN friends who arrived to participate in the presentation about the “buzz” phase of resource extraction, by visiting researcher Marieka Sax from the University of Northern British Columbia.
As a follow-up to his story earlier this month about the strike at the Belledune smelter, RAVEN’s Abram Lutes published this story about the Belledune NB Power plant’s use of coal from Columbia. The coal is mined in ways dangerous for the miners and local communities. This story aims to help us understand how the energy we use here in NB has consequences for other rural people living far away. RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn, a mining activist, is quoted in the story. You can read it here.
RAVEN is studying the broadband infrastructure in rural New Brunswick. We plan to produce a report describing the limits and opportunities of telecommunication services across the province to support rural communities, including identifying the gaps and producing recommendations to address local needs. In future, moving to a green economy will mean that rural community members will have a choice where and how they can access education and health services. These choices will be essential to move beyond a fossil fuel economy. RAVEN’s Brian Beaton wrote a story to kick off this study in the NB Media Co-op. You can read the story here.
Members of the RAVEN team made a follow-up visit to Knowlesville on May 25-26, a rural community we first visited in March. Similar to RAVEN’s first visit, we enjoyed a potluck supper with community residents and friends, and we discussed plans for the upcoming community festival.
The PRAXIS project festival, June 7-9 in Knowlesville, is a permaculture-inspired art festival with music, workshops and many other events. The RAVEN team will be participating this year with a video crew. We hope to capture the excitement and vision inspired by this unique rural community in New Brunswick. Everyone is welcome to participate – look out for the RAVEN crew!
The festival will take place on the South Knowlesville Community Land Trust. Community members are developing a rural neighborhood “where urban and rural sensibilities can be brought together to create a wellspring of opportunities for the inhabitants and surrounding community.”
RAVEN team members participated in the climate strike in Fredericton on May 24 and contributed this story to the NB Media Co-op, highlighting the voices of the youth leaders at the rally.
RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn co-wrote a book with David Palmer: The Great Trees of New Brunswick. The book launch in Fredericton was on May 22 and several RAVEN team members were there. Susan O’Donnell wrote the story for the NB Media Co-op. Congrats Tracy! You can read the story here.
Today the NB Environmental Network (NBEN) Sustainability Education Alliance (SEA) coordinator Tzomi Burkhart visited the RAVEN office in the UNB faculty of education. SEA has been a partner in our 2019 cell phone music video contest. Tzomi joined us for a meeting with partners at the Université de Moncton, NBEN and Productions Aulnes. Together we are planning a tour of the Belledune industrial facilities and community meeting at La Barque cooperative in Pointe-Verte in June. Stay tuned for details!
All friends of the RAVEN project are invited to participate in the guest speaker event at UNB on May 27 – noon in room 221 of the Marshall D’Avery (Education) building on the Fredericton campus. We are planning to have an interesting discussion after Marieka’s talk about the links to resource extraction projects in rural New Brunswick.
“Community Impacts of the Buzz of Natural Resource Extraction: From northern Peru to northern British Columbia.”
Marieka Sax, CIRC Research Lead, UNBC Prince George
In a rural and remote corner of the northern Peruvian Andes, members of an indigenous community are faced with the allure and risk of endorsing a prospective mining operation. While not yet operational, the mine has already produced social impacts with over a decade of exploration, consultation, and protest. Similar processes can be observed in resource-rich areas of Canada, where communities experience the ongoing buzz of resource extraction in between waves of economic boom and bust that reflect volatile commodity prices. This presentation takes a closer look at the Peruvian case, and introduces the buzz concept to think through community impacts of resource extraction over a project’s total lifetime.
Earlier this week, RAVEN’s Casey Burkholder and Tracy Glynn worked with farmers and other friends of the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm in Fredericton to create short videos with their cell phones. We’re sharing three of them here, with two more to come. Happy May long weekend everyone!
RAVEN co-investigator Daniel Tubb today published an interesting article in the NB Media Co-op today imagining New Brunswick in 2030 “to think about how we met our climate change obligations. It is fiction, but it need not be.” You can read his article here.
Daniel has promised more of these thought-pieces and we’re looking forward to them.
Any friends of RAVEN who would like to contribute an article along these lines is invited to contact RAVEN: email@example.com
RAVEN’s Casey Burkholder and Tracy Glynn spent the morning today with 10 students learning about regenerative farming with the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm in Fredericton North. Casey led the group in a cellphilming workshop.
Three groups produced short films about food and recycling that you can view online here. Two more videos are in production.
Casey and RAVEN doctoral student Alicia Noriega are working on analyzing the content of the videos. We look forward to the results of their analysis. Thanks to course instructor Corinne Hersey for inviting RAVEN to give a digital storytelling workshop with the students at Hayes Urban Teaching Farm.
As part of RAVEN’s work to raise awareness and publish stories about environmental issues in our province, we are faithfully covering “opposition day” activities in the legislature and related goings-on by our political leaders. This week on opposition day, MLAs debated Bill 23, an Act to Amend the Electricity Act, that would allow municipalities and First Nations to work with local energy suppliers of green and renewable energy. Bill 23 passed to committee. You can read our story about it here.
RAVEN’s Abram Lutes published a story today with our partner the NB Media Co-op about the strike and lock-out at the Belledune smelter. You can read the story here. Our focus on Belledune is part of an information-gathering exercise about the Belledune area, following our visit to Pointe-Verte last month.
We are considering an in-depth study of the rural communities in the Belledune region and how they are surviving and in some cases thriving in the context of a large-scale extractive and polluting industrial area in their midst. Stay tuned for more Belledune stories this summer, as part of the RAVEN Summer Institute work.
RAVEN is attending the plenary in Fredericton today and tomorrow hosted by our research partner JEDI – Joint Economic Development Initiative. The focus is Indigenous economic development in New Brunswick.
In his video with the project, RAVEN collaborator David Perley said that economic sustainability is one of the foundations of healthy First Nation communities in the province. The JEDI conference includes a session on “The Madawaska story.” This session is particularly interesting for RAVEN because we are currently working on a study of climate change adaptation in a rural region that includes Madawaska First Nation and we engaged with members of that community to pilot the survey for the project.
RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn wrote a follow-op article to her piece earlier this week that was also published by the NB Media Co-op. The group, Protect Upham Mountain, is questioning why the RCMP is conducting a surveillance operation on their group. Tracy’s article includes interviews with experts on these kinds of surveillance operations. RAVEN will continue to monitor this story as it has implications for rural champions and activists for the environment across the province. Link to the article here.
RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn is working with Upham residents who have created the Facebook group Protect Upham Mountain to share information about a new development. The Upham group members are rural residents who love their way of life. They are trying to find out how the company got the go ahead with their project – a gypsum mine / quarry – seemingly in contravention of provincial government regulations. You can read the story here.
Chris Rouse presented his business case for a transition to a low-carbon economy in Fredericton recently. His presentation focused on investment into renewables, efficiency, and fuel-switching, with a goal of transitioning 95% of the province’s total energy needs to renewables by 2040.
RAVEN Summer Institute team member Lauren Korn wrote the story for the NB Media Co-op. You can access it here.
We partnered with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the NB Media Co-op to write a story about the student climate strike outside the Legislature building on May 10. RAVEN team members have been present at all three climate strikes to date and we will continue to show our support for the youth going forward. Their actions and words inspire us!
Mary Aspinall, who worked as a graduate student research assistant with RAVEN in the fall 2018 term, presented at the Qualitatives 2019 conference in Fredericton today. Mary’s presentation, Looking for the Invisible: Analyzing Latent Content in the News Media, is based on a study conducted with a RAVEN team to analyze Brunswick News editorials focused on rural issues.
The Qualitatives presentation focused on an interesting methodological question: how do you analyze content that does not exist? We found in our study that the editorials had no mentions of environmental degradation and downsides of resource extraction, and only a cursory, negative mention of Indigenous communities, which we would have expected to find. The paper on which the study is based is currently in peer-review.
The People’s Mayday rally in Saint John sparked the creation of a 5-minute video, The People vs the Irving Dynasty, about their action in the port city last week. The video was produced by Max Media, edited by Jon Pederson, and supported by the NB Media Co-op and RAVEN.
Read the article and link to the video on the NB Media Co-op page.
The provincial government has the power and the responsibility to act on the climate crisis. The IPCC and the UN are urging the world’s government to take immediate action. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote a story about the situation in the Legislative Assembly in New Brunswick. It’s not a good story. Our premier is not sure how much of climate change is based on human activity and believes that industry should be leading the innovations required for a cleaner environment. Read the story here.
David Perley, a collaborator on the RAVEN project, has been moving the University of New Brunswick toward a more respectful approach to Indigenous education in the province. Today RAVEN and our partner, the NB Media Co-op, published an article about how David and his wife, UNB Elder-in residence Imelda Perley, have made a difference during their time at the university. David retires in June and Imelda retired in April.
Read the article by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell and Brian Beaton, Celebrating Indigenous teachings at UNB with David and Imelda Perley. David also collaborated with RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn, Shanthi Bell, Rodrigo Hermelo and the UNB Media Lab to create several new videos for the project, also published by the NB Media Co-op site, including this one related to the article on Indigenous university education:
In this video made by the RAVEN project, David Perley, director of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre at the University of New Brunswick and RAVEN collaborator, speaks about what it will take to ensure that rural communities, including his home community of Tobique First Nation, are healthy and sustainable. You can watch the video from this page.
May 6 is the start of the 2019 RAVEN Summer Institute (SI) that will be held in the Education building at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton and branching out to rural areas across the province. The purpose is to explore how we can use alternative media to engage hearts and minds and support action on environmental issues in rural New Brunswick.
For the first six weeks, we will be focusing on written news, including producing written news stories and investigative reports about rural New Brunswick, with RAVEN partner the NB Media Co-op. Stay tuned for updates and visit our People page to see who’s involved from the RAVEN team. We also have invited guests who are friends of the RAVEN project.
We post regular project updates on our RAVEN Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RAVENUNB/
Our *new* RAVEN friends group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/994336474290377) is where we will share not only the RAVEN project updates but also news from Canada and other countries about environmental issues of interest to activists in New Brunswick. If you like our RAVEN friends group page, you’ll see the posts in your news feed. Every friend of RAVEN is welcome to post to this group.
The RAVEN 2019 cell phone music video contest theme was “Moving NB to a Green Economy.” Click here for the 2019 contest details, including the partners and judges. On this page are the five winning videos that each won $1,000, and the runner up, followed by a video discussion with the artists. The RAVEN project will be running the contest again in 2020: stay tuned!
Winner, Title: Burning. Music: Anne Hedonia. Videographer: Bre Darlison, Dorchester.
Winner, Title: Green Dream, Artist: Leland Wong-Daugherty and Michael, Knowlesville
Winner, Title: Every Step You Take Makes a Difference: NB Green Economy. Artist: Celtic Kin Canada, Fredericton
Winner, Title: Thrive, Artist: Ryleigh Hatch, Harvey
Winner, Title: The Water’s Rising, Artist: Brendan Green, East Brighton
Runner up, Title: Eraser Karaoke, Artist: Jon Pederson, Fredericton
Starting in May, the RAVEN project will start a new study of rail safety and rural community security in New Brunswick. This project was prompted by discussions with Bruce Campbell during his tour of New Brunswick as part of RAVEN’s Earth Week events. The study fits into our RAVEN theme: sustainable rural communities and infrastructure.
The NB Media Co-op published two articles related to Bruce’s tour:
- The Lac-Mégantic rail disaster’s fallout, by Sophie M. Lavoie, the NB Media Co-op partner on the RAVEN project.
- The Lac-Mégantic disaster, New Brunswick, and Irving companies: an interview with Bruce Campbell, by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell.
RAVEN is a partner with the Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts. Our event on April 24, 7pm, with Bruce Campbell and Len Falkenstein is the opening act of Mayworks! Partners for that event also include the NB Media Co-op, Council of Canadians, Westminster Books and the Fredericton Public Library.
This event is in Fredericton. RAVEN is also hosting events in Edmundston, Saint John and online. Check out the full RAVEN Earth Week calendar.
The focus of the RAVEN team meeting today was the upcoming RAVEN Earth Week events in the last week of April. We reviewed the planned activities and resolved final details. We also reviewed the progress of the different studies underway with the Winter term students, and plans for the Summer term students, including the RAVEN Summer Institute. The meeting minutes are here.
Earth Day was April 22. The RAVEN project has lined up a series of events later this week in Edmundston, Fredericton, Saint John and online. Our partners include the NB Media Co-op, Mayworks Festival, Council of Canadians Fredericton and Saint John, the Saint John Free Public Library, the Fredericton Public Library, Westminster Books and others. Hope you can join us!
- April 23, Edmundston, public discussion and book launch, 4pm
- April 24, online, music video contest winners, noon
- April 24, Fredericton, book launch, play reading, public discussion, 7pm
- April 25, Fredericton, RAVEN research panel, 1pm
- April 25, online, presentation and public discussion, 5pm
- April 26, Saint John, book launch and public discussion, 3pm
- April 27, Saint John, March for Tomorrow’s Jobs, 1pm
Climate • Jobs • Justice – Mark the date: Saturday, April 27, 2019 in Saint John, a solidarity March for Tomorrow’s Jobs with RAVEN and partner environmental and labour groups. Meet at King’s Square, Saint John, 1pm. Partners:
- RAVEN (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment)
- NB Federation of Labour
- Conservation Council of New Brunswick
- Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Atlantic
- Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association
- Sustainable Energy Group, Carleton County
From the poster: “Why march on April 27? Like other New Brunswickers, we love our province and believe investing in a low-carbon economy is the path forward for our economy. The Green Economy Network calculated that New Brunswick could create almost 25,000 person-years of employment over five years. Strategic investments — in energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy and public transit, and a just transition for workers — would provide skilled jobs that cannot be relocated to other jurisdictions, laying a strong foundation for continued growth and prosperity here in the province.“
Stay tuned for other events during RAVEN’s Earth Week, April 23-27, 2019. See the full schedule here.
- April 26, Saint John, 3pm: Free Public Library, Central Branch Bruce Campbell book launch, The Lac Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied, (details here), followed by a public discussion on: Rail transport and safety for jobs, communities and the environment.
- RAVEN partners for this event: the NB Media Co-op, Council of Canadians, Saint John Free Public Library
April 25, 1pm: RAVEN research panel, University of New Brunswick Fredericton, Marshall D’Avery Hall (the education faculty building at the top of the hill). Room 328.
This is RAVEN’s opportunity to highlight how UNB students are working with the team on different studies related to rural action and voices for the environment. The presentations will be a mix of completed work and research in progress. Each presentation will be about 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion. Panel presentations:
1pm: Mary Aspinall, PhD candidate, UNB Sociology, will present:“Manufacturing Consent for Rural Compliance with Corporate Development” based on the team’s analysis of Brunswick News editorials. Mary will be presenting this work in June at the Canadian Sociological association annual conference. Abstract here.
1:30pm: Amy Savile, PhD candidate, UNB Sociology will present “Environmental activism in a monopoly news media setting: Social movement media in a rural Canadian province,” based on the team’s analysis (in progress) of alternative media in New Brunswick. Amy will be presenting this research with RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn at the Canadian Sociological Association conference in June. Abstract here.
2pm: Kim Reeder, UNB Masters in Environmental Management candidate, will present “Leadership and mobilization for climate change adaptation in rural communities” based on RAVEN’s study (in progress) with municipal leaders in the northwest region of New Brunswick. You can read her abstract here. Kim will be presenting this research in June at the Environmental Studies Association of Canada conference.
2:30pm: Rowan Miller, final year undergraduate, UNB Political Science, will present a summary of the team’s work to date on a vision paper, A Just Transition to a Green Economy in Rural New Brunswick.
- April 24, online webinar, noon: Presentation of the winning videos of RAVEN’s Cell Phone Music Video Contest!
- Thank you to everyone who participated in the webinar. Click here to see the winning videos.
- The 2019 contest coordinator was Shanthi Bell. Thank you Shanthi!
On this page are the details about the 2019 contest: the contest partners, the contest judges, the scoring process, and a link to all the contest documentation.
- Sustainability Education Alliance
- NB Media Co-op
- NB Film Co-op
- JEDI – Joint Economic Development Initiative
- Casey Burkholder, Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick
- Marie Maltais, Art Centre, University of New Brunswick
- Amy Floyd, Conservation Council of New Brunswick
- 0-5 points each for: content, technical challenge, creativity
- 1 bonus point each for: funny, rural NB scenes, different cultures and languages, Indigenous perspectives, under-represented communities
The cell phone music video contest documentation is here.
April 24, Fredericton, 7pm Fredericton **venue changed due to flood: Conserver House, 180 St John Street** Bruce Campbell presentation and book launch, The Lac Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied (details here), PLUS a reading of Lac/Athabasca, a play by local playwright Len Falkenstein, that was inspired by the rail disaster, followed by a public discussion on: Rail transport and safety for jobs, communities and the environment. Everyone welcome!
- April 23, Edmundston, 4pm Café Lotus Bleu, 52 chemin Canada: Bruce Campbell book launch The Lac Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied, and public discussion (bilingue): Rail transport and safety for jobs, communities and the environment. Click here for more information. Everyone welcome! Coffee and snacks by Café Lotus Bleu, provided for everyone by RAVEN.
- RAVEN partner for this event: the NB Media Co-op
La Barque Co-op in Pointe Verte is a non-profit community-run innovation, learning and training centre situated in a former school. Members of the co-op live all across the Chaleur. Organizations based in La Barque include Productions Aulnes, run by a team with significant experience in community television and radio production.
Today, Productions Aulnes’ team Renelle LeBlanc and Danis Comeau hosted a visit by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell. After a tour of the dynamic La Barque spaces and activities, the group joined a zoom meeting with colleagues from the University of Moncton’s ECHO project, the RAVEN project at University of New Brunswick, and the Sustainability Education Alliance (SEA) of the NB Environmental Network.
The focus of the meeting, and the reason for the visit, was to develop a collaborative project about Belledune. SEA will be taking the lead to support the group with next steps. We will continue to post updates as they become available. Anyone wanting to join the group is welcome to contact RAVEN: firstname.lastname@example.org.
RAVEN is supporting our partner, the NB Media Co-op, to produce and share more stories about environmental issues important to rural communities in New Brunswick. There’s a new story today about spraying glyphosate, a topic of considerable concern to many rural residents in the province.
The story, Stopping glyphosate spraying in a province captured by industry” was written by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell about a public meeting in Plaster Rock. The meeting was co-organized and chaired by RAVEN’s Rowan Miller. You can read the story here.
The community in Knowlesville hosted the RAVEN project today. The RAVEN team visitors – Tracy Glynn, Matt Rogers, Sabine LeBel, Daniel Tubb and Susan O’Donnell – would like to thank everyone gathered at the Knowlesville Art and Nature Centre for their hospitality.
Some members of the Knowlesville group – the South Knowlesville Community Land Trust – are busy organizing their PRAXIS project permaculture-inspired art festival scheduled for June 7 to 9, 2019. You can read all about it here.
RAVEN’s Kim Reeder wrote an article for the NB Media Co-op about a panel presentation at the New Brunswick Graduate Research Conference, “Research for Piluwitahasuwawsuwakon: A sharing circle with Ntutemok,” with Lapskahasit Cihkonagc, Nancy Harn, Stel Raven and Elder Albert Marshall.
You can read the story here.
The RAVEN team met today. The agenda included discussing ideas for working on a Belledune project with NBEN collaborators, Productions Aulnes, and the ECHO project team at Université de Moncton. We also clarified plans for the RAVEN Earth Week events at the end of April. The meeting minutes are here.
RAVEN and the NB Media Co-op and partners will be hosting a visit by author Bruce Campbell to New Brunswick. Bruce is launching his book: The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied and RAVEN is facilitating community gatherings (bilingue) on the topic of “Rail Transport and Safety for Jobs, Communities and the Environment.” Mark your calendars:
- April 23 – Edmundston, 4pm: Café Lotus Bleu, 52 Chemin Canada
- April 24 – Fredericton, 7pm: new location: Conserver House
- April 25 – online webinar, starts at 5pm
- April 26 – Saint John, 3pm: Free Public Library Central Branch, with partners the Saint John Free Public Library and Council of Canadians Saint John
For a copy of the poster, click here.
Background story and book theme: The July 6, 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster is a tragedy unparalleled in Canadian history. It resulted in major loss of life, massive environmental destruction and the evisceration of a small Quebec town. Blame landed squarely on the shoulders of three front-line employees of the Montreal, Maine, and Atlantic Railway Company. But a jury acquitted them. Lac-Mégantic is the story of a rail industry writing its own rules subordinating safety to profit, a booming US oil industry based on fracking, fighting any obstacles to selling their dangerous product, and a rogue US railway operator cutting costs and cutting corners.
Author and special guest: Bruce Campbell is currently Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, and Senior Fellow, Ryerson University Centre for Free Expression. He is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of Canada’s leading independent think-tanks, and the author of three major reports and numerous media commentaries on the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, for which he was awarded a Law Foundation of Ontario Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship. Bruce spent 2016 as a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.
Hosts: RAVEN (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) is an activist research project at the University of New Brunswick. We promote the voices of rural champions working to build sustainable environments and communities in New Brunswick. The NB Media Co-op has membership and contributors province-wide, voluntarily writing and sharing news and opinions and facilitating dialogue on issues concerning New Brunswickers that are all too often marginalized in corporate media, including the environment, social justice, women, Indigenous issues, labour, etc.
Today – World Water Day – we are celebrating with an article and a video about Wolastoq, produced in collaboration with RAVEN and published by the NB Media Co-op.
The video features David Perley, RAVEN team member and director of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre, telling the story of the traditional importance of Wolastoq and why we need to bring it back to health. The short video, Wolastoq: a healthy river is necessary for survival, was a collaboration with several RAVEN team members including Shanthi Bell, Tracy Glynn and Rodrigo Gutiérrez Hermelo.
The article, Wolastoq: a beautiful and bountiful teacher, written by David Perley and friend of RAVEN Brian Beaton, recalls the history of the degradation of the river and the work involved and underway to restore it to health. The story also identifies many of the groups working on restauration projects.
Tell Your Rural Story, Knowlesville: A Storytelling Workshop
Do you work on land, water and air protection? Clean energy? Regenerative farming? Sustainable forestry?
Are you interested in telling your rural community’s story in a collaborative way?
Learn about storytelling methods, photovoice (photography and storytelling), cellphilming (taking films with cell phones) and participatory video.
Where: The Knowlesville Art and Nature Centre
When: Saturday, March 30 at 3:00pm
Hosted by Rural Action & Voices for the Environment (RAVEN).
Participants must be 19 years or 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 email@example.com.
A new book: The Great Trees of New Brunswick, 2nd edition, authored by RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn and co-author David Palmer will be published by Goose Lane in May. The NB Media Co-op published a video with the authors discussing why they wrote the book and their favourite trees. The video was edited by RAVEN’s Shanthi Bell and produced by RAVEN partner Sophie Lavoie. Looking forward to the book launch! Here’s the link to the video.
Dr. David Hofmann, UNB Sociology, a member of the RAVEN team, is contributing his expertise on social networking analysis to the RAVEN project. David’s other research, separate from RAVEN, is investigating terrorism and political violence, charismatic leadership, right-wing extremism, apocalyptic and millenarian groups, and criminal & illicit networks.
Mark your calendars – David will be the presenter for the final Rural Issues Workshop this academic year at UNB, 4-5:30 pm on Thursday, April 11. The workshops are held in room 202 of the UNB Forestry and Geology Building, 2 Bailey Dr., Fredericton.
Dr. Hofmann’s talk for the Rural Issues Workshop, entitled “Right-wing and Anti-government Extremism in Rural New Brunswick and Nova Scotia” is data-driven presentation that will provide attendees with a conceptual introduction to the history of right-wing extremism in Canada, context for the explosive growth in right-wing, ultra-nationalist, and hate movements in Canada in the last 5 years, and will introduce and explain preliminary data on the presence and extent of right-wing extremism and hate groups in the Maritimes. This research is part of a large, multi-year grant funded by Public Safety Canada (led by Dr. Barbara Perry), where Dr. Hofmann is the lead-researcher of the team tasked with investigating right-wing extremism in the Maritimes.
Members of the group Sussex Area for Frack Free Environment (SAFE) hosted members of the RAVEN team on March 16: Tracy Glynn, Casey Burkholder, Matt Rogers, Chris George, Daniel Tubb. The group is interested to develop a “Faces of Fracking” project together.
In the meantime, SAFE is busy hosting a speaker series. Their guest speaker on March 27 is Jim Emberger, NB Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.
The first “Fridays for Future” rally in Fredericton outside the Provincial Legislature building was held on March 15. The rallies happened around the world, inspired by the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Friend of RAVEN Gerry McAlister wrote this story for us, published in the NB Media Co-op. You can read Gerry’s article here.