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We hope to give voice to those whose troubling experiences with hydraulic fracturing and associated activities may not have not been considered in Alberta’s discussion of oil and gas development. By making these voices heard through film, we hope to help facilitate informed and thoughtful discourse so Albertans can make wise decisions about the future of our province.
Project Background
In November, 2012, the founders of AlbertaVoices hosted a conference called Responsibility for the Land: Conversations on Fracking in Alberta. This project arose from a broad range of research and discussion in conjunction with the conference.
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The AlbertaVoices Crew

Screen Shot 2013-06-08 at 9.52.20 PMHans Asfeldt
Edmonton, AB

I am a recent graduate of the Global and Development Studies program at Augustana – U of A. Since early in university, my interests in writing and development issues have taken me across the province of Alberta in an effort to better understand how we might build a strong community and a healthy democracy.

In particular, fracking presented itself as an important local issue and quickly became the focus of my undergraduate research. As we continue discussions about the management of our natural resources it is essential that the voices of Albertans from all walks of life are included. In my own work, many of my greatest insights have emerged from stories like the ones on this website and my hope is that AlbertaVoices can help shed light on how we might move forward together in the midst of challenging decisions about our livelihoods and the land that sustains us.

In addition to my work with AlbertaVoices, I am passionate about education and am involved in the development of a community-based research program for undergraduate students at the University of Alberta. At home, I am father of two young children and I look forward to taking them on their first wilderness canoe trip.

email: hansasfeldt(a)


DSC_0025Alison Bortolon
Thunder Bay, ON

I graduated from Augustana in 2013 with a degree in Global and Development studies. I was a part of the Responsibility for the Land conference in 2012 and created a short documentary to follow which touched on themes brought up in the conference. The following summer I was one of the founders of the AlbertaVoices Project and have been creating films for AlbertaVoices ever since. For about 4 years now I have been making films and in the summer of 2014 I attended Documentary Film school in Vancouver.I really resonate with the possibilities of sharing stories through film. In 2015 I started my own production company, Radical Productions to continue to share a variety of stories.

email: alisonbortolon(a)






RajRajan Rathnavalu
Camrose, AB

I am a recent Augustana graduate in Philosophy and Religion.  As my major indicates, I’ve had a longstanding interest in trying to understand the deeper reasons for why we do things. My research related to fracking arises from my concern for how we treat each other and the world around us and my belief that, if a community works together, anything can be accomplished.

My passion lies in bringing deeper, compassionate perspectives to education and community life. I am currently doing research in contemplative education and will begin further studies in education and curriculum at the University of Calgary this September.

email: rajan.rathnavalu(a)






Dittmar Mündel
Camrose, AB

I have been a professor at the Augustana Campus for 33 years where I teach Religion as well as Global and Development Studies. I am also associate director of the Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life.

In 1995, together with my wife Pat, we created the Prairies-Mexico Rural Development Exchange that won both federal and provincial awards. My educational approach is that our land, people, and community are the major “texts” we have to learn to read, reflect upon, and analyze. Last year, I facilitated a course on hydraulic fracturing. The students, with my advice and support, conducted the conference Responsibility for the Land: Conversations on Fracking in Alberta.

Pat and I have four children and seven grandchildren whose future depends on us preserving and healing all of creation.

email: hmundel(a)


Chester Ronning Centre
AlbertaVoices is funded by private donors and the Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life. Our donors have generously made this project possible by providing honorariums to Hans and Alison for their work over the summer.

Please contact us for further information regarding the funding of AlbertaVoices.

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