RAVEN at OURMedia conference in Brussels

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn made a presentation today at the OURMedia conference in Brussels. Tracy’s presentation, “Biting the hand that feeds: Media Co-operatives challenge corporate control” told the international conference participants about the NB Media Co-op and its partnership with the RAVEN project, and how the NB Media Co-op has survived to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.

RAVEN is very pleased to be represented at the OURMedia conference. The OURMedia gatherings bring together scholars and activists who are studying and making cooperative and independent media, often in difficult political environments and certainly in challenging economic circumstances. Click here for the conference program.

Action on glyphosate spraying

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell published a story today about the new bill introduced in the NB Legislature to end the practice of spraying the poison glyphosate on Crown lands and waters. The bill also provides for a fair deal for private woodlot owners that will contribute to more sustainable development in rural communities in the province. You can read the story here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

RAVEN at Eco-Confluence event

RAVEN is a member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), which is having its annual conference and AGM today. At the event, Eco-Confluence 2019, RAVEN’s Rachel Bensler presented an update of the Fossil Free UNB campaign and Susan O’Donnell led a workshop: “Sharing our environmental stories: Media cooperatives in New Brunswick.” The workshop featured a presentation by RAVEN partner, Projet Aulnes about their video co-operative and new project, Maritime Spaces.

RAVEN at NBEN Sustainability Education Alliance conference

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell spoke at the Sustainability Education Alliance (SEA) conference in Sackville today. SEA, an initiative of the NB Environmental Network, is focused on supporting a network of leaders and activists committed to improving the culture of sustainability education. Susan is leading a team on Art and Sustainability Education.

RAVEN team meeting October 2019

Today the RAVEN team met to hear from NB Media Co-op partner representative Sophie Lavoie about her experience participating in the Wabanaki Land-Based Learning course and the opportunities for working together with First Nations in that region of the province. We also reviewed the success of the RAVEN Voices for the Environment Week events. You can read the meeting minutes here.

RAVEN and NB Media Co-op staff nominated for environmental award

RAVEN and NB Media Co-op members Tracy Glynn and Susan O’Donnell were nominated for an environmental journalism award by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. Although they did not win, the packed award ceremony, the Eco Hero Gala, in Fredericton was an excellent opportunity to network with other environmental supporters and activists across the province.

The ceremony was held on the 50th anniversary of environmental activism by the CCNB.

At the ceremony, Sarah Blenis of the Protect Upham Mountain group won a community leadership award. Sarah was spokesperson for the group profiled in several articles written by Tracy Glynn and published in the NB Media Co-op.

Unearthing Justice: How to protect your community from the mining industry – presentations in Fredericton, Saint John and Sackville

Mark your calendars!

Joan Kuyek, community organizer, author and co-founder of MiningWatch Canada, will be launching her latest book, Unearthing Justice: How To Protect Your Community from the Mining Industry:

The New Brunswick events are supported by RAVEN – Rural Action and Voices for the Environment at the University of New Brunswick, the Canada Research Chair in Global and International Studies at St. Thomas University, the Department of Politics and International Relations at Mount Allison University, MiningWatch Canada and Between the Lines.

About Unearthing Justice

The mining industry continues to be at the forefront of colonial dispossession around the world. It controls information about its intrinsic costs and benefits, propagates myths about its contribution to the economy, shapes government policy and regulation, and deals ruthlessly with its opponents.

Brimming with case studies, anecdotes, resources, and illustrations, Unearthing Justice exposes the mining process and its externalized impacts on the environment, Indigenous Peoples, communities, workers, and governments. But, most importantly, the book shows how people are fighting back. Whether it is to stop a mine before it starts, to get an abandoned mine cleaned up, to change laws and policy, or to mount a campaign to influence investors, Unearthing Justice is an essential handbook for anyone trying to protect the places and people they love.

Order your copy directly from Between the Lines – or ask your local independent bookstore. Books will also be available at the launch events in NB.

Updates on the Fossil-Free UNB campaign

Two updates to share:

  • Good news from the UNB Student Union, the organization that represents the 6,000 undergraduate and professional students at UNB Fredericton. Last night at their meeting, they endorsed the current Fossil-Free UNB campaign, with the caveat that divestment cannot be used as an excuse by the UNB administration to raise student fees. Thanks to RAVEN students Rachel Bensler and Patrick Donovan who made the successful presentation to the student union at their last meeting in September.
  • Today Rachel Bensler (the UNB student leading the Fossil-Free UNB Orange Square campaign) and Susan O’Donnell (RAVEN project lead investigator) met with the UNB Board of Governors investment committee. You can view a copy of our presentation here. Our meeting ended with a commitment by the committee to share information with us about their fossil fuel investments. Here’s the link to the UNB divestment campaign.

If you have a connection to UNB, have a look at Orange Square petition, the list of people who have signed already, and the email to add your signature. The link is here.

The FF UNB campaign’s next step is to create a booklet with information about the contribution of the fossil fuel industry to the climate crisis, the importance of divestment from fossil fuel infrastructure, the investments of UNB in fossil fuels, questions and answers about divestment, and how to get involved in the campaign.

RAVEN in new action group on the Sisson Mine project

RAVEN is an associate member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). Along with other member groups we are forming a new NBEN Caucus addressing the Sisson Mine project.

In announcing the new group, the NBEN pointed out that this proposed mine and its tailings pond would be one of the largest tungsten mines in the world, and has potential to seriously impact the Nashwaak watershed.  The member groups initiating this new Caucus include the Council of Canadians Fredericton Chapter, the Sierra Club Canada Foundation Atlantic Canada Chapter, and the RAVEN Project. We will keep everyone informed as the caucus actions develop.

Sept 27: Women resisting extractivism

The RAVEN project and the NB Media Co-op’s Voices for the Environment week brings you this event on Sept. 27.

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.

Shannon Elizabeth Bell’s visit to UNB

During our Voices for the Environment Week, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op invited professor Shannon Bell to visit us. Shannon is with the department of Sociology in Virginia Tech, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

You can meet Shannon at two other RAVEN events: the RAVEN project birthday party on Thursday evening and the Friday panel, the Women Resisting Extractivism. See the Voices for the Environment week in the paragraph below for details of those events. At the Friday panel, Dr. Bell will also be displaying photovoice panels from her work in rural coal-mining communities in West Virginia.

If you are interested in Dr. Bell’s work, please check out her paper: Bridging Activism and the Academy: Exposing Environmental Injustices Through the Feminist Ethnographic Method of Photovoice

You can read and download her paper here. The abstract is below.

Abstract
The neoliberal rejection of a strong role for governmental regulation of industry has led to increasingly negative consequences for the environment and the people who are forced to bear a disproportionate share of the health and safety hazards created by corporate polluters. The voices of the victims of environmental injustice often go unheard in the policy arena, while an arsenal of paid industry lobbyists exerts undue influence and power over legislative and regulatory agency processes. In this paper, I argue that we as social scientists are frequently positioned in such a way that we could serve as links between the people we study and policymakers, providing an avenue for exposing the ways that neoliberal policies negatively affect the health, safety, and well-being of disenfranchised groups. Through presenting a “Photovoice” project I conducted with 54 women living in five coal-mining communities in southern West Virginia, I demonstrate how feminist activist ethnography, as a distinct type of activist research, can be used for social science inquiry while simultaneously providing an opportunity for research participants’ stories to be heard—and acted upon—by those with political power.

Sept 26: RAVEN’s 1st birthday party!

During our Voices for the Environment Week, RAVEN is celebrating its first birthday. Our project was launched a year ago.

On September 26 we are inviting all RAVEN friends to join our first birthday party at a rural farm near Fredericton. Friends of RAVEN Tom Beckley and Louise Comeau kindly offered to host the celebration gathering starting at 4pm. Louise says their bountiful garden will provide enough food for the RAVEN friends who join us – and please do!

Address: #848 Route 616, Keswick Ridge, NB. Directions:

  • From the south side of the Wolastoq (St. John River), cross the river to the north side at the Mactaquac Dam Bridge and turn left onto Route 105. Continue for about 2km, turn right onto Rocky Road and continue till it ends. Left onto Route 616 and continue until Tom and Louise’s laneway on the left, #848 Route 616.
  • From the north side of the Wolastoq, follow Route 105 until McKeen’s Corner / intersection with Route 616 and head up to laneway #848 on Route 616.

Sept 25: Teach-in on citizen responses to the climate crisis

During our Voices for the Environment week, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op invite you to the Wednesday, Sept 25 event: a teach-in with STU professor Janice Harvey about citizen responses to the climate crisis.

Join us at noon in room 120 of Marshall D’Avery Hall (UNB Education Building, 10 Mackay Dr.) It’s the big room inside the main entrance across from the cafeteria. Parking is behind the building. Visitor parking passes are free for all UNB events, from the facilities / security building inside the UNB entrance on King’s College Rd.

Dr. Harvey will lead the teach-in with her thoughts about actions that activists and social movements take or could take to raise public awareness of the climate crisis, specifically looking at civil disobedience and non-violent direct action. A talking circle format will support participants to share experiences with and reactions to different types of citizen environmental activism.

RAVEN and more than 100 environmental groups in the province are members of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). As a background resource for the teach-in, participants can download an information booklet from 2004 prepared by NBEN: Legal Information for Environmental Groups:

English:https://www.nben.ca/en/information-and-resources-for-engos-legal

French:https://www.nben.ca/fr/legal

Sept 24: UNB and STU students for fossil fuel divestment

During our Voices for the Environment Week, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op invite you to the Tuesday, Sept 24 event: discussion with the UNB and STU students leading the Orange Square campaigns for fossil fuel divestment at each of the universities.

The campaigns were launched on Sept. 20 at the Climate Strike and rally at UNB.

Join UNB student Rachel Bensler and STU student Hannah Moore at noon in room 120 of Marshall D’Avery Hall (UNB Education Building, 10 Mackay Dr.) It’s the big room inside the main entrance across from the cafeteria. Parking is behind the building. Visitor parking passes are free for all UNB events, from the facilities / security building inside the UNB entrance on King’s College Rd.

University divestment campaigns are happening globally. The RAVEN project is supporting the student-led Orange Square divestment campaign at UNB that is working together with the Orange Square student-led campaign at STU.

Here is the info and update page on RAVEN’s support for the UNB campaign.

Poetry for the climate crisis: a spoken word workshop with El Jones

As part of our Voices for the Environment week, the RAVEN project at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton and the NB Media Co-op have invited spoken word poet El Jones from Halifax to lead a workshop: Poetry for the Climate Crisis. 

The workshop will be held at UNB on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 9am to 1pm and Sunday Sept. 22 from 9am to noon. 

The workshop is free of charge and stipends will be offered to participants who need compensation to take time off work or for childcare costs. There will be a $20 refundable deposit to hold your spot, which will be returned at the workshop.

If you are interested to participate, please register at the link below. We are planning to keep registration open until midnight on Saturday, Sept. 14, but will keep it open longer if we need to.

On the following Monday, registrants will receive an email confirming if they have been selected to participate, with further details. The workshop is limited to 10 participants.

link to register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/climatepoetry

Global week of climate action kicks-off in Fredericton

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell published a story in the online NB Media Co-op about the first day in the week of global climate action, Sept. 20. The story focused on events in Fredericton. Read the story here. The events started with Poetry for the Climate Crisis, sponsored by RAVEN and the NB Media Co-op and continued with the Climate Strike organized by Fridays for Future Fredericton and finally, with a march to the premier’s office organized by Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick.

Continuing the slow decline, but that’s okay – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #16

Cheryl Johnson writes the latest Letter from the future NB, dated 2049. In that year, different groups of people “are working together and sharing their knowledge and compassion. We have to be united, or life is too hard otherwise.” You can read Cheryl’s letter here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

Fossil Free UNB and Orange Square campaign is launched!

The Fossil-Free UNB and Orange square campaign is urging the UNB administration to work with us to divest university investments from fossil fuel companies. More about the campaign here.

On its launch date, Sept. 20, the campaign collected almost 200 signatures! The petition and list of signatories is available on the Orange Square page of the RAVEN site. Stay tuned for further activities and updates in October…

Sept 20: Poetry for the climate crisis

Facebook Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/399570750697094/

RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op began our Voices for the Environment Week with an outdoor poetry event: Poetry for the Climate Crisis, featuring our guest El Jones from Halifax and four dynamic poets living in New Brunswick: Sue Sinclair, Rebecca Salazar, Lauren R. Korn and Emily Skov-Nielsen.

This kick-off event was at noon on Friday, Sept. 20 at the UNB campus in Fredericton at Poets’ Corner at the UNB Quad in front of the HIL library.

The event included the launch of the Orange Square campaigns for fossil fuel divestment at the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University.

Our event collaborated with the student-led Fridays for Future Climate Strike at the same time and location.

Poets’ Bios

El Jones is a spoken word poet, an educator, journalist, and a community activist living in African Nova Scotia. She was the fifth Poet Laureate of Halifax. El was recently named the Nancy’s Chair of Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University for the 2017-2019 term. Her book of spoken word poetry, Live from the Afrikan Resistance! (Roseway Press) was published in 2014.

Sue Sinclair is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Heaven’s Thieves, winner of the Pat Lowther Award for the best book of poems by a Canadian woman. She edits for Brick Books and teaches creative writing here at the University of New Brunswick, where she is also editor of The Fiddlehead.

Rebecca Salazar is the author of poetry chapbook Guzzle (Anstruther Press), released in 2016. Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, she is currently a PhD candidate and Vanier scholar in New Brunswick.

Lauren R. Korn is an M.A. student of Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick. She was a research assistant for RAVEN during its 2019 Summer Institute.

Emily Skov-Nielsen is the author of the chapbook Volta (Anstruther Press), and an MA in English/Creative Writing graduate from UNB. Her poems
have appeared in numerous literary journals across Canada. Her first full-length book of poetry will be published by Brick Books in fall 2020.

Voices for the Environment week Sept 20-27

This year September 20 to 27 is the global week of action on the climate crisis. As members of the local and global movements for social justice and environmental action, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op will be hosting “Voices for the Environment” week.

Below is the list of events with links to the details of times and locations including Keswick Ridge, and the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University in Fredericton.

Friday, September 20, noon: Poetry for the Climate Crisis with El Jones, Sue Sinclair, Rebecca Salazar, Lauren R. Korn and Emily Skov-Nielson, followed by Fridays for the Future Climate Strike. More info and poster here.

Saturday and Sunday, September 21-22, 9am to 1pm: Spoken word poetry workshop with El Jones – Poetry for the Climate Crisis. More info and registration link here.

Tuesday, September 24, noon: UNB and STU students Rachel Bensler and Hannah Moore speak out about fossil fuel divestment at the universities.

Wednesday, September 25, noon: STU Prof Janice Harvey’s teach-in on citizen responses to the climate crisis.

Thursday, September 26, 4pm: RAVEN’s first birthday party in Keswick Ridge. All RAVEN friends invited to share a harvest meal!

Friday, September 27, 2pm: The Women Resisting Extractivism and Bridging the Scholarship-Activist Divide: Ramona Nicholas, Sherry Pictou, Shannon Bell, Tracy Glynn. Plus a photovoice exhibition!

Who saved the world? Girls! A letter from New Brunswick’s future #15

Lauren R. Korn worked with RAVEN during the summer, writing articles on environmental and rural community issues published by our partner, the NB Media Co-op. This week, Lauren has contributed to the Letter from New Brunswick’s Future series with a strong vision of a future province where reproductive and other rights are respected. You can read Lauren’s article here.

Local governance and adaptions to the climate crisis – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #14

The latest installment in the Letter from New Brunswick’s Future series is written by Adje Prado. Adje imagines a local governance structured around watersheds, what a brilliant concept! You can read his article here. RAVEN is working in partnership with Adje on a project about rural community adaptations to climate change.

Poetry for climate action

Christine Wu is working with RAVEN on the Poetry for the Climate Crisis event September 20 plus the spoken word poetry for the Climate Crisis workshop led by El Jones September 21-22.

Christine, a poet and creative writer, published a story in the NB Media Co-op with her thoughts on poetry for climate action. You can read Christine’s story here.

Flooding highlights support system disparities in rural New Brunswick

RAVEN’s Lauren R. Korn published another article today about rural New Brunswick, this one about the impact of flooding on mental health in the province’s rural communities. She interviewed Julia Woodhall-Melnik, who is working with her research team at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. You can read Lauren’s article here.

RAVEN’s further engagement with UNB on fossil fuel divestment

In July, RAVEN sent a letter to the UNB strategic planning group to request that the university’s new strategic plan include divestment of fossil fuels. We asked the university administration to work with us and other members of the university community on the divestment campaign. You can read the letter here.

In August, we contacted the secretariat of the university’s board of governor’s (the governing body) and the university president, with a copy of our letter and asked again for collaboration on the divestment campaign. The secretariat confirmed on August 20 that our request was circulated to the board of governors. We look forward to a positive response!

RAVEN 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.
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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.