RAVEN attending JEDI plenary on Indigenous economic development in NB

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.

Celebrating Indigenous teachings at UNB

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 two new videos for the project, also available on the NB Media Co-op site:

David Perley: Establishing a healthy community in rural New Brunswick.

David Perley: A vision for Indigenous university education

March for Tomorrow’s Jobs: April 27

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:


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.

Panel on research with Indigenous peoples

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.

Beautiful and bountiful Wolastoq

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.

Peace and Friendship Treaties Days

The annual Peace and Friendship Treaties Days at UNB is a celebration of the relationship between Indigenous and settler peoples in Wabanaki territory. This year’s event included a re-enactment of the longhouse gathering to ratify the terms of the 1760 treaty.

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder participated in the gathering and wrote a story for the NB Media Co-op, working with David Perley, RAVEN collaborator and director of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre, and Brian Beaton. You can read their story here.

The perspective of the RAVEN project is that understanding the relationships between the first peoples on this territory, European and other newcomers over the past four centuries, and all our relations, will help to guide us as we move forward to build a sustainable future together.

RAVEN joins the NBEN

RAVEN’s application to join the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN) as an associate member has been approved by the NBEN board. It will be formally approved by the NBEN members at their 2019 AGM. Since making our application in November 2018 to join the NBEN, RAVEN has been actively involved in several NBEN events and caucus groups. We are pleased and proud to be a member of such a dynamic, important umbrella organization that brings together more than 100 environmental groups across the province.

Wabanaki Unity Gathering

The Wabanaki Unity Gathering on Jan. 26 was an important event hosted by the Wolastoq Grand Council. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell participated and was asked to write a story for the NB Media Co-op. She spoke with several Indigenous women who highlighted the importance of unity among all nations and peoples to heal the earth, and for humans to see ourselves as part of the web of life. You can read the story here.

A call for second-language training in rural communities

In an opinion article for the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell and friend of RAVEN Gerry McAlister called on anglophones to act in solidarity with Acadians and francophones in New Brunswick and respect their rights to services in their own language. We suggested that second-language training should be moved out of urban institutions and into rural communities, supporting local language schools and immersion opportunities run by grassroots groups and local entrepreneurs and designed as projects for rural community development such as small farms, local renewable energy, food security, community forestry, and climate change adaptation activities along our waterways and coastlines. You can read it here.

Mobilizing to improve the environment in New Brunswick

Jennifer Adam, a law student at the University of New Brunswick and RAVEN volunteer, wrote an article for the NB Media Co-op about the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN) and their “Eco-confluence” event on November 17 that brought together more than 35 groups concerned with the well-being of the province, its citizens, and its environment. Read Jennifer’s story here.

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.

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.

“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.