Building food sovereignty in New Brunswick with a worker-owned cooperative

In June, RAVEN hosted a visit to Pleasant Ridge in unceded Mi’kma’ki territory (near the Village of Rogersville) to learn about agricultural cooperatives at la Ferme Terre Partagée Cooperative. The trip was organized by RAVEN’s Amy Floyd.

Amy’s article about the history of the farm and agricultural cooperatives is a must-read for anyone interested in food sovereignty in New Brunswick. You can read it HERE online published by our partner the NB Media Co-op.

RAVEN endorses CCNB letter opposing NB’s plan to delay ending coal power

RAVEN advocates for genuine climate action. Burning coal at Belledune to generate electricity has to stop by the federal deadline of 2030, but our provincial government is lobbying to extend that deadline. The Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) wrote to federal Environment Minister Wilkinson with concerns about New Brunswick’s proposed regulation Phasing Out of Coal-fired Electricity Generation – Climate Change Act. CRED-NB was among the many groups endorsing the CCNB letter. Our concerns regard the use of equivalency agreements when Canada is promoting its commitment to phasing out coal-fired electricity by 2030 within the Powering Past Coal Alliance. Read the letter HERE.

New Brunswick Forestry in Historical Perspective

Tertulia – Winning the Race to the Bottom: New Brunswick Forestry in Historical Perspective

RAVEN is a partner on this event, organized by Tertulias.

With New Brunswick’s Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship set to discuss glyphosate spraying of the forest, record breaking timber prices and a government unwilling to increase Crown timber royalty rates, environmental historians and Bill Parenteau and Mark McLaughlin will share insights of political economy and historical context to discuss how our forest came to be managed the way it has.

Wednesday, June 9 at 7:30pm (Atlantic time) on Zoom.

Bill Parenteau is a recently retired Professor of History at the University of New Brunswick. His published research is, broadly, on the political economy and environmental history of Atlantic Canada. Additionally, he is a frequent public commentator on forest industry issues and a participant in Indigenous treaty and land rights cases.
Mark McLaughlin is an Assistant Professor of History and Canadian Studies at the University of Maine. Dr. McLaughlin’s research has focused on forestry and natural resource management, particularly the notions of forests as contested spaces and the state as mediator between various user groups competing for access to public resources.

This talk is co-presented by Tertulias Fredericton, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, RAVEN and the NB Media Co-op.

Watch on Zoom here.
Watch on Facebook live here.Stay updated/spread the word on the Facebook event page.

What is a tertulia? A tertulia can be described as a kind of philosophy café where participants talk about big thinkers, artists and ideas. This winter and spring, Tertulias Fredericton has put together a series on activists and social movements that have shaped our lives and allowed us to imagine a better future.

Tertulias Fredericton is supported by the NB Media Co-op, publisher of videos of the Tertulia talks.

For more information, visit Tertulias Fredericton on Facebook or contact: fredericton.tertulia@gmail.com.

Your Nuclear Dream May Turn Nightmare

RAVEN researcher Susan O’Donnell was interviewed recently in two articles about the plans by the nuclear industry to add more nuclear reactors on the Point Lepreau site on the Bay of Fundy.

The most recent, published by The Tyee, was prompted after nine US experts in sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau about the nuclear weapons proliferation implications of the federal government’s support for the Moltex project in New Brunswick. You can read it here.

The second article, published by the National Observer, reported on the significant opposition that exists to the nuclear infrastructure development being pushed by the industry and funded by governments. You can read it here.

Invitation to the farm: Field trip June 19

The RAVEN Project invites you to join us for an afternoon on farm and in community to learn about how Farming Co-operatives can work in New Brunswick with La coopérative Ferme Terre Partagée in Rogersville, N.B. The field trip will be on June 19 and is limited to 15 people. Free.

People are becoming more and more concerned with food sovereignty and supporting their local economy. Co-operatives are a tool that small and mid-scale farms can use to lower costs, become more efficient, expand marketing range and offer a wider range of products to customers. Co-ops can also be set-up to mirror the ethics and values of their members.

This event is organized by Amy Floyd, 
For more information and to register:https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/field-trip-farm-co-operatives-with-la-cooperative-ferme-terre-partagee-tickets-150795169411

This event is organized by Amy Floyd:

Food Security Policy Analyst
The Raven Project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) https://raven-research.org/

Founder and Administrator
Permaculture Atlantic Network
www.permacultureatlantic.com

Hampton High students support Wolastoq Grand Council resolution against nuclear development

The Climate Action Team at Hampton High School (HHS) are not only activists but also allies to Indigenous peoples. MLA Megan Mitton (Green Party, Memramcook-Tantramar) tabled a petition from HHS students in support of the Wolastoq Grand Council resolution against nuclear energy development and nuclear waste. Read the story in the NB Media Co-op, HERE.

‘Not in service’ – Province of New Brunswick’s response to many residents of unincorporated areas

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder is currently working on rural governance issues. Kim’s latest article published by the NB Media Co-op highlights a challenge faced by rural residents when attempting to find information about Local Service District governance.

Kim writes: “In many areas of the Province, when LSD residents aimed to answer the call to participate in LSD Advisory Committee elections or to have questions answered, they found that the emails, and in some cases even the phone numbers provided for contact were not in service.

“Whether by design or not, conditions such as these highlight the inequity of the rural condition and do not instill confidence that the Province can reliably host LSD elections. Unfortunately, that concern is compounded by the reality of unreliable internet service throughout many rural regions in the Province.

You can read the full article here.

40 ways to increase food sovereignty this season

“The simplest way to think about food sovereignty is to ask, do people have choice or control about the kind of food they eat? Having sovereignty means choosing to eat food from sources you want to support (like local farms), having access to nutrient dense food, having access to land if you want to grow your own food, and it means having food available that is culturally appropriate and honours our household food traditions.”

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd’s latest article for the NB Media Co-op is here.

Bill to ban glyphosate tabled by New Brunswick MP

This week MP Jenica Atwin (Fredericton) tabled a private members’ bill to ban the use of glyphosate in Canada.

In the video of her intervention, made from her Fredericton North constituency office, Atwin stated: “The widespread use of glyphosate over New Brunswick forests and across Canada is a menace to human health, and plant and wildlife diversity.”

Atwin’s bill builds on a growing global consensus against the use of the poisonous herbicide, following the International Agency for Research on Cancer finding that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen.

“Rather than allowing toxic chemicals to be sprayed in Canada until they are proven harmful, we should be exercising greater precaution: banning products until they can be deemed safe,” said the MP. “Canadians have the right to breathe clean air, drink safe water, and harvest healthy foods from the land.”

Read the full story in the NB Media Co-op, written by RAVEN lead investigator Susan O’Donnell.

Panel on Canada’s nuclear policy and SMRs

Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin invited RAVEN’s lead researcher Dr. Susan O’Donnell and Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, to a roundtable discussion by zoom on April 14. The topic was Canada’s Nuclear Policy and SMRs. You can watch the recording of the roundtable here:

https://www.facebook.com/GreenPartyofCanada/videos/934857067289154/

French presentation: More nuclear reactors for New Brunswick?

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell was invited by the group Imaginons la péninsule acadienne autrement to present at their Écofestival 2021 event in March. The topic was the nuclear reactor projects planned for New Brunswick. The video of her presentation and Q&A afterwards is here (French language).

The video of Susan’s English-language presentation to the New Brunswick Environmental Network in January is available here.

CBC radio interviews by RAVEN


The day after federal taxpayer handed a $50.5 million gift to Moltex Energy to develop their design for a nuclear reactor on the Bay of Fundy, RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell was interviewed by the CBC morning radio programs in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John. The first two were made available. Listen to the interviews below.

Fredericton – 6 minutes

Moncton – 10 minutes

Video: Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy in New Brunswick

Chris Rouse: Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy in New Brunswick: Why public investments are better than incentives.

Chris Rouse, the founder of New Clear Free Solutions, developed an Integrated Resource Plan for New Brunswick that achieves a 95% Renewable energy solution through public investments. In this video presentation, Chris discusses his IRP that offers the least cost sustainable solution to our environmental problems that benefits all New Brunswicker both now and in the future. The event was organized by the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB), Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick, and the RAVEN project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) at the University of New Brunswick.

Video: A fresh food tax credit and food security for New Brunswick

A video of the presentation by University of New Brunswick and RAVEN Masters student Jessica Morehouse on her research on Fresh Food Tax Credits and Food Security in New Brunswick.

Background: Early in January 2020, the RAVEN project organized a meeting at the Greener Village food bank in Fredericton for local champions working on food security issues. The meeting ended with a request for RAVEN to support research to explore if a fresh food tax credit would work in New Brunswick. Four provinces already have a similar tax credit to support local food producers to donate to food banks. Could this work here? Watch the video:

Webinar Feb. 23: Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy in New Brunswick

Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy in New Brunswick: Why public investments are better than incentivesFree event, everyone welcome. Register to receive the event link and a reminder:

https://unbvirtualclasses.zoom.us/…/tJwpdeGqqTsuE9S63pf…

Chris Rouse is the founder of New Clear Free Solutions and has been very active in the environmental movement for over 10 years. Chris has a very extensive technical background. He has developed an Integrated Resource Plan for New Brunswick that achieves a 95% Renewable energy solution through public investments. The IRP offers the least cost sustainable solution to our environmental problems that benefits all New Brunswicker both now and in the future.

This event is organized by the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB), Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick, and the RAVEN project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) at the University of New Brunswick.

Webinar Feb 17: A Fresh Food Tax Credit and Food Security for New Brunswick

February 17 – Webinar presentation by Jess Morehouse: A Fresh Food Tax Credit and Food Security in New Brunswick.

Webinar: Fresh Food Tax Credits and Food Security in New Brunswick

University of New Brunswick and RAVEN Masters student Jessica Morehouse will present the results of her research on Fresh Food Tax Credits and Food Security in New Brunswick. The presentation is open to all. Jess will make a 15-minute presentation and then engage in discussion with participants.

Please join us! Registration is required:https://unbvirtualclasses.zoom.us/…/tJYtfu-tqzMqGtDuxc…

Background: Early in January 2020, the RAVEN project organized a meeting at the Greener Village food bank in Fredericton for local champions working on food security issues. The meeting ended with a request for RAVEN to support research to explore if a fresh food tax credit would work in New Brunswick. Four provinces already have a similar tax credit to support local food producers to donate to food banks. Could this work here?

Why was a book launch in 2018 with university partners investigated by police?

In October 2018, Joan Kuyek visited New Brunswick to launch her book on how to protect your community from the mining industry. The event was supported by the Department of Politics and International Relations at Mount Allison University, 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, MiningWatch Canada, and the publisher, Between the Lines.

Prof. Dave Thomas at Mount Allison filed an information request to find out why the RCMP were present at the event. Read the story by RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn in the NB Media Co-op, here.

Conversations on rural housing in New Brunswick

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd has been looking into housing options in rural New Brunswick, particularly for seniors. Read what she’s been finding out in her two stories for the NB Media Co-op:

Seniors open the door for conversations on accessible rural housing in New Brunswick

Accessible, multi-generational and intentional: Alternative housing models on the horizon in New Brunswick

More nuclear reactors for New Brunswick?

Join the webinar on Jan. 14, an online workshop: Calculating the risks and benefits of Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) in New Brunswick. RAVEN is co-hosting this event organized by the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). NB Media Co-op is also co-hosting.

The NBEN online risks and benefits calculator is featured in this event. Participants are invited to use it to determine for themselves about the new nuclear reactors (SMRs) proposed for the province.

Daniel Tubb on his book, Shifting Livelihoods: Gold Mining and Subsistence in the Chocó, Colombia [video]

RAVEN co-investigator Daniel Tubb recently published a book based on his research with subsistence gold miners in rural Columbia. In his webinar presentation, Daniel talks about his process of ethnographic research. RAVEN teamed up with the NB Media Co-op and Tertulias for this event. The video was published by the NB Media Co-op, here.

Canada’s support for nuclear reactors and opposition in New Brunswick

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell represents the project in the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB). For the NB Media Co-op, Susan wrote an analysis of the federal throne speech and government support for new nuclear reactors. You can read her article here.

RAVEN video contest winners!

The RAVEN project is pleased to announce the winners of our cell phone music video contest on the theme Growing a Better Future:

Youth – $500 prize

  • Grow it Yourself – Tess Green, East Brighton, NB
  • Seeds are for Sharing – Michael Daugherty with Rosie and Arthur, Knowlesville, NB

Adult – $1,000 prize

  • Notre Jardin – Our future – Melissa LeBlanc and Anna Vienneau, Nashwaak Bridge, NB
  • Planted – Ryleigh Hatch and Erin Sawden, Harvey, NB
  • Dig a Hole – Brendan Green, East Brighton, NB
  • Standing Tall – Eric D’s Allain, Moncton, NB

Runner-up – $500 prize

  • Food Creates Community – Adam Weaver, Scotch Lake, NB

You can view the winning videos here:
https://raven-research.org/ravens-2020-cell-phone-music-video-contest-winners/

Congratulations to all our contest winners!

RAVEN students Fall 2020

RAVEN is pleased to have three new students working with the project this term:

  • Christine Jean is an Honours student in Anthropology and History at UNB. She is working with Kim Reeder and Susan O’Donnell on the sustainable energy development project.
  • Kelly Green is a STU student majoring in Environment & Society Studies and Communications & Public Policy with a minor in Sociology and Science & Technology Studies. Kelly is working with Janice Harvey and Rose He on the fossil fuel divestment project.
  • Rose He is in the first year Engineering program at UNB. Rose is working with Kelly Green and Susan O’Donnell on the fossil fuel divestment project.

RAVEN’s second academic publication!

Our second research manuscript was published this week by the Journal of Rural and Community Development. The research and writing team for “Leadership for Climate Change Adaptation in a Rural Region in New Brunswick, Canada” was Kim Reeder and Susan O’Donnell from the RAVEN project and Adrian Prado with the Northwest Regional Service Commission. You can read the abstract and publication here.

RAVEN at the Environmental Studies Association of Canada conference

Last year the RAVEN team was out in force at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, the biggest academic conference in Canada. This year the Congress was cancelled due to the pandemic… except that of the more than 100 academic groups and associations that meet every year at the Congress, four chose to run their conference virtually. Fortunately for us, one was the Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC) which has been an early adopter of video technology to model how academic work can happen with reduced travel. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell was able to do her ESAC presentation today from her home in Fredericton.

New Brunswick’s tree species and climate change

RAVEN’s new Environmental Action reporter Cortney McDonnell published her first article today with our partner, the NB Media Co-op. Cortney has a background and keen interest in forestry management and for this article she interviewed scientists about the impact of climate change on our acadian forest. You can read Cortney’s article here.

RAVEN joins new CRED-NB Coalition

The RAVEN project today joined with other environmental groups in the province to announce the launch of the new Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick. We are excited to be part of the new Coalition to promote nuclear-free renewable energy in NB! An article about the Coalition was published today by the NB Media Co-op. You can read it here.

Greenprint update meetings

RAVEN team members participated in the second of two meetings to identify what is needed to shift to a low-carbon New Brunswick. The events, organized by the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), brought together NBEN members to discuss updating the 2010 “Greenprint” publication. In a COVID twist, the events were organized online, including breakout rooms for small-group discussion and post-meeting online surveys, to give everyone an opportunity to participate safely from across the province.

RAVEN 2020 summer students begin work

We’re excited that during this challenging time under COVID-19 we’ve been able to engage four students for the summer, some of whom have continued from the 2020 Winter term:

  • Lauren Korn will be researching and writing articles on different topics for submission to RAVEN project partner, the NB Media Co-op.
  • Hannah Moore is working at the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm in Fredericton and is our new Food Security and Regenerative Farming reporter.
  • Jessica Wall is working on her thesis research on a potential Fresh Food Tax Credit for New Brunswick that could benefit local farmers and food banks.
  • Cortney MacDonnell is our Environmental Action Reporter, working with Tracy Glynn to develop stories, starting with forestry-related themes. Cortney is hired under the UNB Arts 4000 program.

More information about the students and RAVEN team members and partners is on our People page.

RAVEN’s 2020 Cell Phone Music Video Contest

Get your cell phones out and start filming! You can enter the contest if you live in New Brunswick – even if you are not a musician. We have 4 prizes of $1000 for the winning videos plus 4 extra prizes of $500 for videos made by children and youth 15 years and under.

The contest theme is:

Growing a better future

This contest is running parallel to our project on community food security, Growing a Better Future, details here.

Here’s one definition of community food security developed through research and practice: “Community Food Security is a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound diet through an economically and environmentally sustainable food system that promotes community self-reliance and social justice.” (reference) Note that the focus is on community rather than gardens for individual households (although that’s important too).

Deadlines:

  • 10am, August 31, 2020: last date and time to download an application form. The form will be removed after this time. The form is available now from the link below.
  • midnight, August 31, 2020: last date and time to submit your completed application form with the link to your video. We will send a confirmation email when the form is received. No late applications will be considered.

RAVEN contest partners:

This page has links to all the the information you will need to enter the contest.

Important: if you are planning to enter the contest, read the contest guidelines and FAQs first!

For the contest guidelines click here. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below on this page are also part of the guidelines.

For the application form, click here. You must use the application form to enter the contest.

The link to the winning videos from the 2019 contest is here.

If you have any questions, read the FAQ below. If you have other questions, email the contest: ravenvideocontest@gmail.com

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and additional guidelines.

Here are some common questions we are expecting and our answers. These form part of the contest guidelines. Check back for more FAQs – we will add them as we receive more questions this year.

Q: I’m using YouTube and cannot make the video password-protected. What should I do? A: Make the video “unlisted” and send the link.

Q: Do I need to write the music? A: We welcome original music. Historical music / songs that are out of copyright can also be used. Sites are available online with music you can use for free without copyright restrictions. Singing songs is fine if you have written the song. Note that the application form includes a statement confirming that the music is not protected by copyright. If you are unsure, do not use it.

Q: Does the music need to have lyrics / words? A: No but words help tell a story and get your message across. A message that inspires or stimulates action is one of the judging criteria.

Q: Does the theme have to be “Growing a better future: community food security in New Brunswick?” A: Yes, it can be anything related to growing a better future and / or community food security in New Brunswick. If you are not sure what it means, google “community food security.”

Q: How are the videos judged? A: Each video will be assigned points by the judges. The information is in the guidelines document.

Q: How do I submit a video, can I email you the video file? A: No, we do not accept video files by email. You will need to put the video online somewhere. If the site you choose permits protecting it with a password, do that. YouTube does not permit password protection – make the YouTube video “unlisted” and include the link. The application form has a place for you to include the link to your video that you have uploaded, and the password if you have one.

Q: Does the person submitting need to be involved with an environmental group? A: The contest is open to all residents of New Brunswick, except members of the RAVEN team and contest partners.

Q: Can it be a video I made already or does it need to be original for the contest? A: We prefer videos that have not already been shared online. If it’s one you made already, you will likely need to edit it to meet the guidelines.

Q: Can I enter the contest more than once? A: The judges will look at only one video per name listed on the application form. If more than one form is submitted by the same person or organization, the last form received will be entered into the contest.

Q: Is it a cash prize? A: The prize will be a cheque issued to the name of the person on the application form. That person (or group) must have a bank or credit union account to cash the cheque. No substitute names will be allowed, so ensure that the correct name is on the form.

Q: Can a video be submitted by a group? A: Yes, however if successful, the cheque for the prize will be made out to the name on the application form. If your group is incorporated and has a bank or credit union account you will be able to cash the cheque. If not, one person will have their name on the application form, the person who will cash the cheque.

Q: What is the maximum length of the video? A: Two minutes, including the opening title slide and the closing credit slide (see the guidelines and judging criteria). Videos longer than two minutes will not be entered into the competition.

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 phone, computer or other device.

If you have any other questions, email the contest: ravenvideocontest@gmail.com

Calling new gardeners in the Nashwaak Valley

Do you want to grow a garden this year but don’t know where to start? Amy Floyd, RAVEN’s lead for the Growing a Better Future initiative is offering advice and support on how to grow your own food. Amy’s project is focused on the Nashwaak Valley.

RAVEN is offering financial support to 20 households to start a small garden. The deadline to apply is May 8, 2020. See the poster for details.

Dr. Gordon Edwards in NB to talk about nuclear energy

RAVEN is collaborating with partner groups to bring Gordon Edwards to New Brunswick. Dr. Gordon Edwards is president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. See the RAVEN event page for more information.

He spoke in Saint John on March 12 and his Fredericton event on March 13 was changed to a webinar. The video of the webinar was published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. It can be accessed here.

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors : not small, not green, not clean, not affordable

The government of New Brunswick is encouraging us to believe that nuclear power is safe, clean and green, even while the nuclear industry is in a state of decline.

The government is following the advice of a handful of private entrepreneurs and setting the stage for what they hope will be the big economic miracle of 2020: tens of millions in federal funding to top the $10 million already invested by the province to transform New Brunswick into a booming and prosperous Nuclear Energy powerhouse for the entire world.

What are the risks of developing Small Modular Nuclear Reactors in New Brunswick?

Gordon Edwards, Canadian scientist and nuclear consultant, co-founded the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, and has been its president since 1978. He has worked widely as a consultant on nuclear issues and has been qualified as a nuclear expert by courts in Canada and elsewhere.

Dr. Edwards has worked as consultant for governmental bodies such as the Auditor General of Canada, the Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs, and the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning. In 2006, Edwards received the Nuclear-Free Future Award. He has also been awarded the Rosalie Bertell Lifetime Achievement Award and the YMCA Peacemaker Medallion.

Sponsors: the RAVEN project at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton, Council of Canadians Fredericton, Sustainable Energy Group Carleton County, Council of Canadians Saint John, Urban and Community Studies Institute at the University of New Brunswick Saint John, Sisters of Charity Saint John, NB Media Co-op.

RAVEN at Espace Maritime Spaces

Writing this from Beresford on the Baie des Chaleurs, looking forward to tomorrow morning and the start of the Espaces Maritime Spaces event, Belledune edition, with our RAVEN partner Projet Aulnes. RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn, Susan O’Donnell and Amy Floyd will be participating. After a day of workshops, the broadcast show will be produced in the evening and feature a range of topics, including the RAVEN project.

Fossil fuel divestment booklet presented at UNB Board of Governors meeting

RAVEN’s Rachel Bensler is leading the UNB divestment campaign. She has produced a booklet “A Guide to the Orange Square” with information about fossil fuel divestment and wearing the orange square. The campaign is supported by RAVEN, the UNB Students Union and the UGSW – union of graduate student workers.

The booklet was presented at the UNB Board of Governors meeting on Feb. 20 by the Board investments committee. The committee is in ongoing dialogue with Rachel and the divestment campaign about how to engage with fossil fuel divestment while being fiscally responsible.

UNB graduate student workers support fossil-fuel divestment

The Union of Graduate Student Workers (UGSW), local 60550 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) represents University of New Brunswick graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants at UNB. Today the UGSC confirmed it is supporting the UNB fossil-fuel divestment campaign. The UGSW logo will be included in the February information booklet. Thank you for your support!

RAVEN team meeting – February 2020

The February RAVEN meeting included a review of all the current activities we’re engaged in. Upcoming is the the Maritime Spaces / Espace Maritime production with the Belledune community in partnership with Projet Aulnes/ the Aulnes Project, the divestment campaigns at UNB and STU, academic publications, events planned for March and April, and much more. The meeting minutes are here.

Universities funding planetary destruction

RAVEN’s Hannah Moore is leading the fossil fuel divestment campaign at St. Thomas University. Hannah wrote an article about university complicity in the climate crisis and the need for divestment campaigns. You can read Hannah’s article here.

Manufacturing consent for an extractive regime in rural NB

RAVEN’s first academic article was published this week, in the Journal of Rural and Community Development. The article: “Manufacturing Consent for an Extractive Regime in Rural New Brunswick, Canada” was written by RAVEN’s Mary Aspinall, Susan O’Donnell, Tracy Glynn and RAVEN friend Tom Beckley, all from the University of New Brunswick.

Stay tuned for some stories about the new article that we’ll write for RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. In the meantime, you can read the abstract and article online here.

RAVEN team meeting – January 2020

The first RAVEN meeting of 2020 included several new team members. The minutes briefly outline the activities in development over the next weeks and months. These include the Maritime Spaces / Espace Maritime production with the Belledune community in partnership with Projet Aulnes/ the Aulnes Project, and a possible future production with Eel River Bar First Nation, updates on the Growing a Better Future initiative and on the expanded university divestment team including St. Thomas University, plans for another Poetry for the Climate Crisis event, and activities around Earth Day. The meeting minutes are here.

RAVEN’s Growing a Better Future initiative launched!

Today RAVEN launched its Growing a Better Future initiative with a meeting at the Greener Village in Fredericton. At the meeting, the RAVEN team was joined by representatives from more than a dozen groups and organizations involved in community and rural food security. By the end of the meeting we had consensus on a way to move forward on an initial action. RAVEN will be working with Greener Village and other collaborators on that first step. Stay tuned to the RAVEN project website and Facebook page, and the RAVEN Friends Facebook page for updates! Here’s the link to the Growing a Better Future initiative page.

New RAVEN team members

The RAVEN project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) is pleased to welcome new team members in January 2020.

New students:

  • Hannah Moore, fourth year Environment & Society major at St. Thomas University.
  • Jessica Wall, Candidate, UNB Masters in Applied Health Research program.
  • Lauren Korn, Masters candidate, UNB English (Creative Writing). Lauren also worked with us in the Summer 2019 term.

New staff and collaborators:

  • Amy Floyd, Senior Policy Analyst – Community Food Security, RAVEN staff and collaborator.
  • Dr. Janice Harvey, Coordinator & Assistant Professor, Environment & Society Program, St. Thomas University, RAVEN co-investigator.

New partner:

Stay tuned in January for news about what we get up to together! Visit our website for the complete RAVEN team list:

https://raven-research.org/people/

Welcome, and happy new year everyone!

RAVEN team meeting – December 2019

Our final RAVEN team meeting of the year included a round-up of activities we’re currently involved in and plans for the new year. We will have new people starting in January with the project: Amy Floyd and Jessica Wall on the new community food security project, and Janice Harvey and Hannah Moore to work on the divestment campaign and other activities. You can read the minutes here.

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.

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

RAVEN student on CBC radio – eco-anxiety and divestment

Rachel Bensler, a RAVEN research assistant, was interviewed by CBC radio in a segment that played this morning. The focus was “eco-anxiety” and she also spoke about the fossil fuel divestment campaign at UNB. You can listen to the interview, on Information Morning – Fredericton, from this link. Rachel you made some excellent points, well done!

Information on the divestment campaign, Fossil-Free UNB is here.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Call for letters from New Brunswick’s future

RAVEN’s Daniel Tubb and Abram Lutes have teamed up with the NB Media Co-op to solicit and edit a series of articles imagining the future of New Brunswick. The call for submission is here. We encourage all friends of RAVEN to explore your ideas and imagine the future you want!

Resistance to fracking

The Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick issued a statement signed by all the Chiefs strongly opposing the province’s “secret lifting of the fracking moratorium” in the Sussex area. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote an article for the NB Media Co-op about this and related resistance including in the NB legislative assembly last week. The article is here.

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.

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.