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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
Athabasca, AB

I am an environmental and political science student at Augustana – U of A. I have lived in Norway and in Cuba more recently, and have spent many a night in the Canadian wilderness. It is my observation that I am among the most privileged in the world.

While I can be outspoken, I appreciate complexity. I take risks and sometimes find myself out of my league, but am capable enough of listening to expert opinions. But equally important— I believe— are experiences. We must listen to those who have most directly experienced the consequences of the issues in question.

My involvement in this project arose partly from my undergraduate research last fall. I see Alberta Voices as a way to put opinions aside, recognize common ground, and move closer to the truth and a way forward.





DSC_0025Alison Bortolon
Thunder Bay, ON

I have recently graduated from Augustana in Global and Development Studies, Politics, and Crime and Community. In all of my research and studies I have found a particular interest in what I like to call the human experience. These are the things that bring each and everyone of us together and connects us. That is, we all share a common experience, and a common future.

I have worked frequently over the past 2 years in various areas making short films, including Responsibility for the Land. For me, documentaries are a fun and interactive way to engage and inform a wide audience. My passion and interest in the AlbertaVoices project is inspired through being able to be a window to share the voices of those affected in hydraulic fracturing, and being able to share their human experience.





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.







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.



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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