MTRI is a non-profit co-operative with a mandate to promote sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve and beyond through research, education, and the operation of a field station.
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In 2014, Seniors Interviewing Seniors: Valuing and Sharing Rural Narratives provided seniors an opportunity to participate in a community-based project that helped to preserve the oral history of western Annapolis County and Queens County. Through sharing their memories and anecdotes, seniors gave a comprehensive overview of the past lifestyles, communities and biospheres of these counties. This information is important to record as it is in danger of being lost as our population ages. The project also addressed concerns regarding the isolation of seniors by encouraging their social participation and inclusion. The participants felt respected as their knowledge, observations and opinions were sought. The information that seniors shared gave valuable insights that MTRI and others with interests in the biosphere and history of the area can use in future research and initiatives.
Click here to view a compilation of the interview transcripts.
To collect information from local seniors to provide an oral history of the area.
To help encourage seniors to get involved with current happenings in the community.
To help seniors became more aware of how they might contribute to MTRI through their observations and to demonstrate how their knowledge and information can benefit researchers and ecosystems.
To increase the profile of the area as an attractive, dynamic place to live.
A senior coordinator was hired and volunteer interviewers were trained.
Seniors were contacted and interviewed by the coordinator and trained volunteers.
Interviews were digitally recorded, written in text form, and photos were taken and annotated.
Learning sessions for seniors were planned and presented, explaining the work conducted at MTRI.
Data were made available to North Queens Heritage House Museum for its website.
Photo Credit: Amanda Lavers
Over 100 seniors became involved in Seniors Interviewing Seniors; as coordinator, interviewees, interviewers and audiences at presentations.
Seniors in the area became more aware of MTRI and its projects.
Seniors who were interviewed shared information about lifestyles, community changes, species at risk, forestry and land use.
Seniors received information about the Southwest Nova Biosphere at MTRI seminars, by reading MTRI information packets and during talks given at the Annapolis Royal Nursing Home, Port Lorne Lunch and Learn and the Women’s Institute regional meeting in Tupperville.
Seniors felt respected and empowered by sharing their memories and observations.
Photo Credit: Wesley Pitts
Single Year Project (2014)
Government of Canada - New Horizons for Seniors Program
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute
North Queens Nursing Home
Annapolis Royal Nursing Home
North Queens Heritage House Museum
Aging Well Together
South Shore Health, Falls Prevention