Sept 27: Women resisting extractivism – mark your calendars

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

The Women Resisting Extractivism and Bridging the Scholar-Activist Divide

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

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

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

Panelists:

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

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

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

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

With a photovoice exhibition and refreshments. All welcome.

Organized by RAVEN Rural Action & Voices for the Environment.

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

Contact: raven.unb@gmail.com.

RAVEN calls on UNB to end fossil fuel investments

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

The key text of the letter states:

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

The letter can be accessed here.

Language and the Green New Deal

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

The influence of corporations on higher education in NB

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

RAVEN in Sussex: July 26

Tell Your Rural Story with PhotovoiceFacebook: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More links between fossil fuels in NB and human rights internationally

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

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

Rural community development success in Newfoundland

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

Rural assemblies: Letter from the future #4

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

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

RAVEN visits Bocabec and St. Andrews

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.

La Barque + Projet Aulnes

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 2019 video contest – more!

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

RAVEN cell phone video contest entry: Green Economy

Alternative Methods by Sasha Leger, with Alex Cormier and Matthieu Gaudet

RAVEN cell phone music video contest: Alternative methods

Be an Eco Hero by Kathleen Maclean

RAVEN cell phone video contest entry: Be an Eco Hero

Belledune Community Meeting: June 18

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 at the Congress 2019

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.

Learn, love, act

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’s invitation to the Green New Deal meeting in Fredericton: June 18

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.

Tell your rural story: Hampton: June 25

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 raven.unb@gmail.com for more information.


RAVEN at ECHO meeting, U de Moncton

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 visits Upham residents concerned with a proposed gypsum mine

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.

RAVEN team meeting May 2019

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.

RAVEN visit to Knowlesville

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.”

Visit from NBEN SEA

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!

Guest speaker on resource extraction May 27

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.

Cell phone videos from the Hayes Farm-ers

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!

Where does your food come from?
NB Food Safety Now
The Lack of Recycling in New Brunswick

RAVEN at Hayes Urban Teaching Farm

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.

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.

RAVEN at Qualitatives 2019 conference

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.

Video: The People vs The Irving Empire

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.

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

RAVEN 2019 Summer Institute

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.

RAVEN on Facebook

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.

RAVEN 2019 video contest winners

The RAVEN 2019 cell phone music video contest theme was “Moving NB to a Green Economy.” Click here for the 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!

Winning videos

Winner, Title: Burning. Music: Anne Hedonia. Videographer: Bre Darlison, Dorchester.

Raven 2019 video contest winner: Burning

Winner, Title: Green Dream, Artist: Leland Wong-Daugherty and Michael, Knowlesville

RAVEN 2019 video contest winner: Green Dream

Winner, Title: Every Step You Take Makes a Difference: NB Green Economy. Artist: Celtic Kin Canada, Fredericton

RAVEN 2019 video contest winner: Every Step You Take Makes a Difference: NB Green Economy

Winner, Title: Thrive, Artist: Ryleigh Hatch, Harvey

RAVEN 2019 video contest winner: Thrive

Winner, Title: The Water’s Rising, Artist: Brendan Green, East Brighton

RAVEN 2019 video contest winner: Water’s Rising

Runner up, Title: Eraser Karaoke, Artist: Jon Pederson, Fredericton

RAVEN 2019 video contest runner-up: Eraser Karaoke

Discussion with the artists: clips from the April 24 webinar with participating video contest winners.

RAVEN 2019 video contest discussion with winners

Rail safety and rural community security

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:


RAVEN at Mayworks festival

Mayworks Festival calendar poster – please share!

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.

RAVEN team meeting April 2019

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.

RAVEN Earth Week 2019!

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!

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.

RAVEN Earth Week events: April 26

  • 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

RAVEN Earth Week: April 25

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.

RAVEN 2019 cell phone music video contest details

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.

Contest partners:

Contest judges:

  • Casey Burkholder, Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick
  • Marie Maltais, Art Centre, University of New Brunswick
  • Amy Floyd, Conservation Council of New Brunswick

Scoring process:

  • 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.

Contest poster

RAVEN Earth Week: April 24

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!

RAVEN partners for this event: the NB Media Co-op, Mayworks Festival, Council of Canadians, Westminster Books, and the Fredericton Public Library.

RAVEN Earth Week: April 23

  • 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

RAVEN visit to Pointe-Verte

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: raven.unb@gmail.com.

Stopping glyphosate spraying in a province captured by industry

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.

RAVEN in Knowlesville

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.

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.

Bruce Campbell speaking in NB April 23-26: Lac Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied

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:

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.

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.

Tell Your Rural Story, Knowlesville, March 30

Tell Your Rural Story, Knowlesville: A Storytelling Workshop
https://www.facebook.com/events/2264938297078942/

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 raven.unb@gmail.com

Sharing our love of trees

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.

David Hofmann on rural right-wing extremism – April 11

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.

RAVEN in Sussex

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.

RAVEN at “Nurturing Connections with Nature” workshop

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell and Matt Rogers engaged with more than 50 environmental educators today at the Sustainability Education Alliance (SEA) workshop “Nurturing Connections with Nature” in New Maryland. The event featured informative guest speakers, including educators from Listuguj First Nation in Quebec (near Campbellton, NB) who shared info about their innovative outdoor education program with Mi’kmaq language teaching. At today’s workshop there was plenty of time for networking, including meeting up with people we met at the SEA Art and Sustainability workshop in Moncton in October last year, where several RAVEN researchers made presentations about their work.

SEA is a program of the NB Environmental Network (NBEN). The event today marked exactly six months since the RAVEN project was launched. NBEN staff from Moncton came to Fredericton to our launch event in September. Shortly afterward RAVEN applied to be part of the NBEN and we were accepted as associate members. Our affiliation with the NBEN has been vital to our development as a project – through the network we’ve met important contacts and new collaborators. The information shared at NBEN events and meetings has shaped our direction and priorities for action. Thank you NBEN for your support of RAVEN and everything you do for environmental groups in NB!

RAVEN at the Environmental Studies Association Annual Meeting

Another member of the UNB RAVEN team will represent the project at the biggest academic conference in Canada: the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences.

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder’s abstract was accepted for presentation at the Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC) annual meeting. Congrats Kim! Kim is a Masters in Environmental Management candidate at UNB. Her presentation, “Leadership and mobilization for climate change adaptation in rural communities” is based on RAVEN’s study with municipal leaders and workers in the northwest region of New Brunswick. You can read her abstract here.

Kim’s presentation will be at the satellite ESAC conference at the Memorial University campus in Corner Brook, NL that will be linked with the main ESAC venue at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Other ESAC conference participants will join the event virtually. RAVEN is pleased to see ESAC take the lead in organizing a distributed and virtual conference to allow participants to reduce or eliminate air travel.

Other RAVEN graduate students will be presenting at the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) annual conference

We are planning to present all of our research during RAVEN’s planned Earth Week events at the end of April 2019. Stay tuned!

Tell Your Rural Story: Digital Storytelling Workshop in Sussex March 16

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.

Tell your Rural Story: Digital Storytelling Workshop in Sussex

  • When: Saturday, March 16 at 1pm
  • Where: The AX, Sussex

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 raven.unb@gmail.com.

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

RAVEN cell phone music video contest – deadline extended!

Get your cell phones out and start philming! The RAVEN cell phone music video contest deadline is extended to encourage more participation. We have five prizes of $1000 to give away for the best videos.

Contest theme: Moving New Brunswick to a Green Economy

New deadlines:

  • March 26: last day to request a registration form
  • April 2: last day to submit your registration form with the link to your video

RAVEN contest partners:

  • Sustainability Education Alliance
  • NB Media Co-op
  • NB Film Co-op
  • JEDI – Joint Economic Development Initiative

You enter the contest using the registration form, available by emailing the contest coordinator Shanthi Bell: ravenvideocontest@gmail.com

This blog post has all the information you will need to enter. For a copy of the contest guidelines, click here. For the contest poster, click here.

For an excellent video on how to make a cell phone video, check out the recording of the webinar by RAVEN’s Casey Burkholder on the contest Facebook page. The video link is here.

Here are some common questions we’ve been asked, and our answers:

Q: What is the maximum length of the video? A: Two minutes.

Q: How do I submit a video, can I email you the video?
A: No, you need to submit on the application form, which includes a link to the video that you have uploaded and password-protected. Please do not send the video to us directly.

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

Q: Does the music need to be original?
A: Yes, however historical music / songs that are out of copyright can be used.

Q: Does the video need to have lyrics / words?
A: No but often words help tell a story. You can use words written on cards if you want. See our “How to make a cell phone video” recording for more ideas.

Q: Does the theme have to be “transition to a green economy”?
A: Yes, it can be anything related to the green economy. Some tips for themes are on the contest guidelines page. Other ideas can be found by searching the web for “green economy.”

Q: Does the person submitting need to be involved with an environmental group?
A: The contest is open to all residents of New Brunswick.

Q: Can a video be submitted by a group?
A: Yes, however if successful, the cheque for $1,000 will be made out to the name on the application form. If your group is incorporated and can cash the cheque, fine. If not, one person will have their name on the application form, the person who will cash the cheque.

RAVEN team meeting – February 2019

The RAVEN team met today, again by zoom. Most of the discussion focused on updates by the RAVEN students about their work on various studies and projects, including research on a paper about media activism, a survey with partner CSRNO, the position paper on a Just Transition to a Green Economy for Rural New Brunswick, and videos produced with the NB Media Co-op. We gave everyone an update on the abstracts accepted for presentation at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences in Vancouver in June. We also discussed the preliminary plans for RAVEN’s Earth Week events April 23-27. The meeting minutes can be accessed here.

RAVEN at Climate Change Adaptation Workshop

RAVEN is a member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). Today the NBEN co-hosted a workshop: Protect, Accommodate, Retreat: Adapting to a changing climate in New Brunswick. Participants from across the province shared information at the event at the New Maryland Centre, including members of the RAVEN team.

The event featured a compelling keynote address by Robin Bronen, co-founder and executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice, about the climate change work in that state where the temperature has already risen by 3.5 degrees and Indigenous communities are planning to re-locate from their traditional communities along the coast.

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell and Kim Reeder participated and met up with Adrian Prado of the Northwest Regional Service Commission (CSRNO). RAVEN is working with Adrian and CSRNO on a study of leadership for climate change adaptation in that rural region. The networking at the NBEN workshop was exceptional and we made new contacts for future activities related to rural alternative media.

RAVEN at the 2019 Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences

Four members of the RAVEN team at UNB will be representing the project at the biggest academic conference in Canada: the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, held this year at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in June. All four will be presenting their research at the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) annual conference. Click here to read the abstracts of the presentations.

PhD candidate Mary Aspinall, UNB Sociology, will be presenting: “Manufacturing Consent for Rural Compliance with Corporate Development,” based on her analysis of Brunswick News editorials. Mary will also be making a presentation from her work at the Canadian Communication Association conference at the Congress.

Sociology PhD candidate Amy Savile and PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies Tracy Glynn will be co-presenting: “Environmental activism in a monopoly news media setting: Social movement media in a rural Canadian province,” based on their analysis of alternative media in New Brunswick. Amy will also be making a separate presentation at the CSA conference related to her thesis work.

Susan O’Donnell, adjunct professor in Sociology, will be presenting: “Rural communities adapting to climate change: a socio-political analysis,” based on RAVEN’s study in collaboration with the Northwest Regional Service Commission. Susan is working with UNB Masters in Environmental Management student and RAVEN research assistant Kim Reeder on that study.

We are keen to complete these studies and share our research in June. Some of this research will be ready to share with the public during RAVEN’s planned Earth Week events at the end of April 2019.

How to make a cell phone video

RAVEN co-investigator Casey Burkholder today delivered a webinar on making cellphilms, aka cell phone videos. This webinar is supporting potential participants of the RAVEN cell phone music video contest.

“Moving NB to a Green Economy” is the theme of a the competition. The winning five videos will each receive $1,000. The competition poster and guidelines can be downloaded from the Facebook site. Also on the site is a link to Casey’s webinar recording.

For a copy of the competition registration form, email: ravenvideocontest@gmail.com. The competition deadline is March 15.

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.

Editorials and rural invisibility

RAVEN research assistant Mary Aspinall’s abstract was accepted for presentation at the Canadian Communication Association (CCA) Annual Conference at the University of British Columbia in June 2019. Mary, a PhD Candidate in Sociology, conducted her research in Autumn 2018 with RAVEN lead investigator Susan O’Donnell. Mary’s abstract: “Editorials, rural invisibly and resource extraction in a monopoly news media environment,” is one result of RAVEN’s study of Brunswick News editorials.

RAVEN’s week of voices for the environment: Sept 20-27

September 20, noon, UNB Fredericton: Poetry for the Climate Crisis, followed by Friday for the Future Climate Strike

September 21-22, 9am to 1pm, UNB Fredericton: Spoken word poetry workshop with El Jones

September 23, noon, UNB Fredericton: Students speak out about fossil fuel divestment at UNB and STU

September 24, noon, UNB Fredericton: Professors facilitate a teach-in on the climate crisis

September 26, noon, UNB Fredericton: discussion of activist research with Shannon Bell

September 26, 4-6pm, Keswick Ridge: RAVEN’s first birthday party

September 27, 2pm, STU: The Women Resisting Extractivism and Bridging the Scholarship-Activist Divide

RAVEN team meeting – January 2019

The team had agreed, following frequent snowstorms in late 2018, to meet virtually by zoom for the 2019 Winter term. Our first meeting, on January 29, brought together most of the new students that started earlier this month. The discussion focused on the RAVEN projects they are working on and plans for papers and presentations at upcoming academic conferences. The meeting agenda and minutes can be accessed here.

RAVEN cell phone music video contest launched

RAVEN is happy to announce that the cell phone music video contest is launched today! RAVEN’s Shanthi Bell is the coordinator. Please share this info below with your networks.

“Moving NB to a Green Economy” is the theme of a competition for music videos made using cellphones. The five top videos will each receive $1,000. The competition is a joint effort from four groups: the UNB RAVEN project, the NB Film Co-op, the NB Media Co-op and JEDI. The competition poster and guidelines can be downloaded from the Facebook site. For a copy of the competition registration form, email: ravenvideocontest@gmail.com. The competition deadline is March 15.

On February 5, UNB professor Casey Burkholder, a researcher with the RAVEN project, will be giving a webinar on how to make a cellphone video. Sign up at the Facebook site. The video of the webinar will be on the site afterwards.

Brian Beaton, friend of RAVEN, wrote a story for the NB Media Co-op about the music video competition as an outcome of the NBEN Art of Sustainability workshop. You can read his story here.

Poster designed by Cat LeBlanc of the NB Film Co-op. Thanks Cat!


Environmental Praxis guest lectures

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn, lecturer at St. Thomas University, is inviting the public to join her Environmental Praxis class and STU Students for Sustainability at any of the following guest lectures happening this semester at 4:00pm at George Martin Hall, Room 207, St. Thomas University, Fredericton.

Thurs, Jan. 24 – Marie Maltais, UNB Art Centre, “Using Art to Create Dialogue about Environmental Issues.”

Thurs, Jan. 31 – Jim Emberger, NB Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, on the status of shale gas in New Brunswick and his organization’s work to transition to a clean economy.

Tues, Feb. 12 – Jenn Wambolt, Wil-Doo Community Bike Club, on bringing together newcomer, indigenous and local youth living in Fredericton’s north side.

Tues, Feb. 19 – Sabine LeBel, Professor, UNB Culture and Media Studies, on QueeringArt Education for theEnvironment.”

Thurs, March 21 – Edee Klee, Hayes Urban Teaching Farm, on efforts to foster a new generation of farmers in a future of climate change.

Tues, March 28 – Christy Rust, Save Officer’s Square, on the grassroots movement to save old trees and heritage in downtown Fredericton.

New UNB students with RAVEN

RAVEN is pleased to announce that we hired four UNB students for the Winter 2019 term:

  • Amy Savile, PhD candidate in Sociology
  • Chris George, PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Kim Reeder, Masters candidate in Environmental Management
  • Rowan Miller, final year undergrad student in Political Science

In addition, Shanthi Bell, final year undergrad student in Psychology and Media Arts and Cultures, and Tracy Glynn, a member of the core research staff and PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies, will be returning for the Winter term.

Welcome! We are excited to be working together.

RAVEN presents to STU students

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn and Susan O’Donnell made a presentation today to students in the St. Thomas University Migmaq-Wolastoqey Bachelor of Social Work program. We were invited by the lecturer, Chris George, for his class, Introduction to Research Methods. Tracy and Susan spoke about the monopoly news situation in New Brunswick, the need for alternative media, and the importance of Indigenous voices being heard on environmental issues. We described RAVEN as an activist research project and presented our first video produced by the NB Media Co-op, featuring Ron Tremblay, Wolastoq Grand Council Chief.

Collaboration with CSRNO

RAVEN sent a letter of support and offer to collaborate with the Northwest Regional Service Commission (CSRNO) on a project related to leadership for climate change adaptation in a rural region. Our collaborative initiative will develop and conduct surveys of CSRNO’s member organizations and collaborators, analyze the data and create reports and publications to suit the needs of each of projects. The RAVEN team will also offer our expertise to the CSRNO team as it applies in the context of our shared work. The study will start in January 2019.

Analyzing corporate news media

PhD candidate and RAVEN research assistant Mary Aspinall is leading a study of Brunswick News editorials focused on rural issues. Her work is using content analysis methodology. Mary’s abstract, Looking for the invisible: Analyzing latent content in the news media was accepted for presentation at The Qualitatives conference to be held in May 2019 in Fredericton. We look forward to your presentation Mary!

RAVEN has an office!

We are grateful to the UNB Faculty of Education for giving RAVEN an office space in Marshall D’Avery Hall. We will use the space primarily as a meeting room and hot-desk location for RAVEN graduate student research assistants who need a place to work. Our RAVEN undergrad students are working in a new shared office in the Sociology Department in Tilley Hall. Thanks to all for helping make this happen (space is at a premium at UNB).

Come visit us, #354 MDH (email first: raven.unb@gmail.com)

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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.