Updates

RAVEN team meeting – November 2018

The minutes for the RAVEN team meeting can be accessed here. One of the main topics on the agenda was preparing the research ethics amendment for the project to cover the additional work funded by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. We also discussed initial plans for RAVEN team members, including graduate students, to attend the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in June 2019. RAVEN funds can subsidize students and staff making presentations at the event.

RAVEN is hiring UNB graduate students

Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) Position Available for Masters or PhD Student(s)

The project RAVEN (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) will be hiring one or more graduate student research assistants (RA) for the winter and fall terms.

Timeline:

  • Winter term: 10hpw for 16 weeks, Jan. 7 to April 26, 2019
  • Summer term: 10hpw for 17 weeks, May 7 to August 30, 2019
  • A student can work fewer hours upon request.
  • Salary: Masters student, $28 per hour; PhD student, $32 per hour
  • December 5, midnight: application deadline
  • December 6, 7: phone interviews with candidates screened in
  • December 7-10: reference checks
  • December 11: candidate(s) selected, paperwork for hiring submitted
  • January 7, 2019 first meeting for winter term, work begins

The RAs will be members of the core team, supervised by one of the team members listed on the RAVEN people page:

The RA work will include participating in regular individual and team meetings and assisting the project investigators on a range of studies using qualitative methodologies. Information about RAVEN including a link to a statement of its principles and actions is available on the project site:

We will be screening applications for the following requirements:

  • experience working on a research project at UNB or elsewhere
  • familiarity with social science, education and / or arts theories and approaches
  • have written term papers or other publications using critical theoretical analysis

Optional additional skills and experience that would be a plus:

  • experience working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples
  • experience working in a rural setting in New Brunswick
  • experience as champion or activist on environmental issues
  • experience with NVivo or other qualitative analysis software
  • experience with production or analysis of video
  • experience working in a bilingual environment

To apply for this position, prepare a cover letter that includes the following points:

  • Summary of experience and skills listed above, required and optional
  • Experience, if any, working on a research project with a large team
  • What stage you are at in your graduate work
  • What terms (winter or summer or both) you want to work with RAVEN
  • Other jobs (TA, RA, other) you will be working during the terms requested
  • Name of your thesis supervisor who will be contacted for a reference

Note: we strongly suggest that students check with their thesis supervisor before applying for this position; the supervisors will be contacted for a reference.

Send your cover letter, a copy of all your graduate academic transcripts, a past term paper or other writing sample, and your CV to:

Susan O’Donnell, Researcher and Adjunct Professor, UNB Sociology: susanodo@unb.ca

This position is covered by the Collective Agreement negotiated between PSAC on behalf of the Union of Graduate Student Workers (UGSW) Local 60550, and UNB. The University of New Brunswick and the Public Service Alliance of Canada are committed to Employment Equity.

RAVEN at NBEN’s Eco-Confluence event

RAVEN applied to be an associate member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). We participated with many other environmental groups around the province at the NBEN annual meeting. At the Nov. 17 event in New Maryland, we had the opportunity to learn about other groups’ current issues, priorities, tools at strategic approaches to tackling pressing environmental challenges.

Opposition to shale gas returns

For the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn wrote about the opposition to fracking after the provincial government threatened to lift the moratorium. Two dozen people rallied against shale gas in New Brunswick outside a natural gas conference in Moncton on a frigid November 15th. Read Tracy’s story here.

Video: “We need to take back control of our forest”

In a video produced by the NB Media Co-op, the RAVEN team spoke with Charles Thériault, Kedgwick-based filmmaker and author. You can watch it here. In the video Thériault speaks about the need to take control away from the corporations over New Brunswick’s forest.

Video: “We never surrendered”

In a video produced by the NB Media Co-op, the RAVEN team spoke with Wolastoq Grand Council Chief Ron Tremblay. He describes the importance of honouring the treaties. He also relates how the 2013 struggle in Elsipogtog and Kent County over exploration for shale gas resulted in the Peace and Friendship Alliance and relationships with allies. You can watch it here.

RAVEN at the Wolastoq / Saint John River Summit

RAVEN participated in a community summit organized by the St. John River Society and WWF Canada. The event was held at the Charlotte St. Arts Centre in Fredericton on Nov. 6 and The Ville in Marysville on Nov. 7. The Marysville meeting brought together dozens of environmental and community groups working on issues involving the river. At that event, Susan O’Donnell spoke about the RAVEN project. She also spoke about the importance of giving the Wolastoq back its name, a request made by the Wolastoq Grand Council.

Spraying glyphosate on forests clashes with Indigenous rights

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell attended a public event on Nov. 3 in a community hall in Tobique First Nation. At the meeting, 50 people gathered to discuss how to stop the spraying of glyphosate on the New Brunswick forest. She spoke briefly about RAVEN at the gathering and, for the NB Media Co-op, interviewed several people for a news story. You can read it here.

Filmmaker exposes corporate capture in forestry in New Brunswick

For the NB Media C0-op, RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn spoke with NB filmmaker Charles Thériault for a news story. In the story, Charles spoke about how his troubling encounter with a young man in the northern rural New Brunswick community of Kedgwick made him turn his camera on the forest. Read the story here.

RAVEN at “The Art of Sustainability”

Four members of the RAVEN team at UNB participated in “The Art of Sustainability: Education through Arts-Based Methods” event in Moncton in October. Sabine LeBel delivered the thought-provoking keynote address, “Queering Art Education for the Environment.” Matt Rogers shared the work of RAVEN and how participatory video can be used to tell rural stories. Tracy Glynn shared a photovoice project on women and mining in Indonesia. The conference was organized by the NB Environmental Network’s Sustainable Education Alliance (NBEN-SEA).

RAVEN and ECHO collaboration

RAVEN is excited to begin collaboration with another research network, ECHO (Environment, Community, Health Observatory). The ECHO Network is investigating social and environmental change in resource-rich regions in Canada. Leading the Network is Margot Parkes (University of Northern British Columbia) and Sandra Allison (Northern Health), along with researchers from other universities, including Université de Moncton’s Céline Surette and Julie Forgues. A key ECHO network partner is the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). ECHO’s New Brunswick case study aims to use arts-based tools, such as photovoice, to study the cumulative environmental and health impacts of resource development in locations of the province such as Belledune. The next ECHO Network Annual Meeting is happening in Moncton on May 27-31, 2019. RAVEN will be there!

“We never surrendered:” Wolastoq Grand Council Chief

For the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn interviewed Ron Tremblay, Wolastoq Grand Council Chief for a news story. In the story, Ron is reminding people that the Indigenous Wolastoq people of what is known as the “Saint John River Valley” today “never surrendered one inch of land, one drop of water.” Read the story here.

Meeting on glyphosate ban

Spraying poison on public (Crown) forests in New Brunswick is an issue that has mobilized thousands of rural residents in the province. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote a story for the NB Media Co-op about a political meeting organized by Stop Spraying in New Brunswick (SSNB) on October 17 in Fredericton. Read the story here.

RAVEN has a logo!

RAVEN contracted Jesse Fiddler from Sioux Lookout, Ontario, to design a logo for our project. RAVEN primary investigator Susan O’Donnell had worked with Jesse on Susan’s previous project, First Nations Innovation. We are pleased that Jesse created a beautiful design capturing various aspects of rural New Brunswick and RAVEN, including a trickster image. We are using the logo starting today. Thank you Jesse!

Recruiting storytellers for rural social justice

The RAVEN research team at the University of New Brunswick wants to collaborate with rural champions working on land, water and air protection; clean and renewable energy; regenerative farming; and sustainable forestry and fishing. We are looking for rural New Brunswickers who are interested in telling the stories of their communities as part of a research and media production project. As a participant, you will receive training on creating and editing photographs, cellphilms and/or video; learn how to tell effective stories about your communities; have your media showcased on the websites of the NB Media Co-op and RAVEN, Youtube and on social media; and have opportunities to collaborate with rural advocates and media-makers from across New Brunswick. For more information, contact: raven.unb@gmail.com.

Making videos of rural voices

The NB Media Co-op will be producing a series of videos with land defenders, woodlot owners, farmers and rural champions, in collaboration with RAVEN. Want to go on camera and highlight your work on making rural New Brunswick a thriving place to live? If yes, the NB Media Co-op can work with RAVEN to produce a video at the UNB Media Lab in Fredericton. Contact us: raven.unb@gmail.com

Open Farm Day showcases family operations behind food production in NB

Friend of RAVEN Brian Beaton wrote a story for us about Open Farm Day. Every year, people have an opportunity to visit the farms where their food comes from. This year, farms across New Brunswick opened their gates for visitors on Sunday, Sept. 16, to learn and experience the important work being done to provide safe, local food for families and their communities. Read the story here.

RAVEN team meeting – September 2018

We held a team meeting on Sept. 25. You can read the agenda and minutes here. On the agenda of this and subsequent meetings is discussion of the feedback RAVEN received from its paper presentation at the UNB Rural Issues Workshop following the project launch earlier in September. You can read our feedback document here. We also discussed the composition of the team and where the expertise gaps were, and how we could address them.

Big pay equity win for rural postal workers

For the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote a story that will affect more than 350 rural postal workers in New Brunswick. The rural workers and their union are celebrating a legal decision in September that will give them a big pay raise and better benefits. Read the story here

RAVEN featured in UNB news

The UNB news blog featured our RAVEN project today. Quotes from RAVEN partners:

“The NBMC looks forward to its collaboration with this project, which will certainly have a great impact on the production and dissemination of news stories on and about rural communities in our province,” says Sophie M. Lavoie of the NBMC Editorial Board.

“The goal is to create and share media relating to those residing in rural communities,” says Lynn Poole-Hughes, CEO of JEDI. “The content developed aims to shed light on the challenges, successes and everyday life of those whose voices are not typically heard. Some of the voices will be Indigenous Peoples. JEDI is proud to partner on and support this initiative. We are certain that Dr. O’Donnell will do great work in realizing her project’s goals.”

[Note: we’re looking forward as well to working with the NBMC and JEDI!]

The full blog is here.


RAVEN: Alternative digital media in New Brunswick

After the RAVEN launch, members of the RAVEN team presented a paper at the first UNB Rural Issues Workshop of the academic year. Our paper, “Rural Action and Voices for the Environment: Alternative Digital Media in New Brunswick” can be accessed here. The co-authors are Susan O’Donnell, Tracy Glynn and David Perley. We intend to develop this paper into a longer publication in future.

The RAVEN team received many thoughtful comments about and critiques of our paper, as well as feedback by email after the workshop. The team will be discussing the feedback at their September meeting with a view to refining and improving their project plans. Thanks to everyone who participated in the launch and provided feedback at the workshop!

RAVEN is launched!

Almost 60 people participated in the RAVEN launch event on September 13. RAVEN team members, our project partners JEDI and NBMC, Indigenous and rural champions and collaborators, as well as researchers from Université de Moncton and Dalhousie University, spoke during the event. The food table included traditional bannock from St. Mary’s First Nation and fresh produce from the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm.

The RAVEN launch was part of the Rural Issues Workshop series hosted by Daniel Tubb (UNB Anthropology and RAVEN co-investigator) and Tom Beckley (UNB Forestry and Environmental Management). Tom was also the discussant for the paper we presented at the workshop.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the launch! Speakers included…

Wolastoq Grand Council Chief Ron Tremblay who opened the launch event,

Edee Klee, New Brunswick Community Harvest Gardens,

Raissa Marks, NB Environmental Network; Rick Doucett, NB Federation of Woodlot Owners; Shawn McGrath, YSC Forest Products Marketing Board,

and David Perley, UNB Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre, RAVEN collaborator.

The RAVEN launch poster designed by Shanthi Bell.

RAVEN team meeting – August 2018

The RAVEN team had its first meeting on August 28 at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. You can access the meeting agenda and minutes here. The main discussion topics were the plans and budget for the project over the next year. Most of the RAVEN funding is spent on student salaries, because research training is a primary focus for all projects funded by SSHRC. We also discussed our ongoing efforts to secure an office space for RAVEN.

RAVEN staff hired

RAVEN’s first staff member, Tracy Glynn, began work today. Tracy is a doctoral candidate in the UNB Interdisciplinary Studies program. We are pleased to have her on the project. Tracy is an expert on photovoice and has extensive experience in the environmental movement in New Brunswick. Tracy will be working part-time during the summer to speak with social justice and environmental groups in the province and share information about the RAVEN project. We are starting to build the RAVEN network. Welcome Tracy!

RAVEN project announced at Congress 2018 in Regina

RAVEN principal investigator Susan O’Donnell chaired the panel session “Journalism, Protest, and Public Opinion” at the Canadian Communication Association (CCA) annual conference at the University of Regina on May 31. As part of her panel presentation: “Indigenous Resistance to Resource Extraction in New Brunswick’s Monopoly News Environment,” Susan announced the RAVEN project due to start the following week.

You can download Susan’s slides for her 2018 CCA presentation here.

RAVEN’s journey begins

The RAVEN project received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council from 2018 until 2022, with partner the NB Media Co-op. Thank you SSHRC! The funding will allow us to build capacity for alternative digital media production and distribution by rural champions. Based at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, the new team will formally launch RAVEN in September 2018.