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.
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.
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.
The minutes of the October team meeting can be accessed here. On the agenda again was discussion of the feedback received by the RAVEN team at the Rural Issues Workshop in September. The feedback document can be accessed here. We also discussed the plans to start several studies and how this could be organized.
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 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!
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.
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 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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
At our first RAVEN meeting, the team agreed on a statement of principles and actions that you can read here. The statement also includes the RAVEN objectives and how we are defining a rural community.
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 hired two new students for the Autumn term:
- Shanthi Bell, a fourth-year student in Psychology and Media Arts and Cultures
- Mary Aspinall, a PhD candidate in Sociology.
Welcome Shanthi and Mary!
In addition, Tracy Glynn, a member of the core research staff and PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies, will be returning for this term.
Today the UNB Research Ethics Board (REB) gave RAVEN its approval to conduct the research outlined in our application for funding to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). We are pleased that we can start the research work in September.
RAVEN is pleased to announce that the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) has awarded our project with a grant that will allow us to conduct additional work, including with our new partner, the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI). Thank you NBIF!
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 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.
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.