University of the Fraser Valley

Sharing stories to help with post-flood trauma

Sharing stories to help with post-flood trauma

Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford with Mt. Baker in the background. Photo is from before the flood of 2021.

Sharing stories can be a way of healing, and a creative project offered by the UFV Food and Agriculture Institute is giving people affected by the devastating floods of November 2021 a way to share their experiences.

Dr. Michelle Superle, who is an assistant professor of English at UFV, a published writer, a research associate of the UFV Food and Agriculture Institute, and a concerned member of the Yarrow community, is leading the effort, along with Dr. Robert Newell, associate director of the FAI.

“We recognize that the floods were a life-changing and very traumatic experience for many farmers and other affected people,” Superle notes. “As they work towards recovering and rebuilding, some may find it therapeutic to revisit their experience by writing about it and reflecting on it.”

UFV is offering free Writing as a Way of Healing workshops to help those wanting to write about their experiences. The simple journaling techniques that Superle will teach in the workshops are accessible for everyone (no prior writing experience necessary!), and extensive research demonstrates that they are highly effective for helping survivors working through trauma to improve their mental and physical health.


Wednesday, March 23, 7-8 pm, Yarrow Community Hall
Saturday, March 26, 3-4 pm, Yarrow Community Hall
UFV Abby campus:
Monday, March 28, 4:15-5:15 pm, Room A203B
Thursday, March 31, 3:15-4:15 pm, Room A203B

Custom and/or Zoom sessions will be arranged for groups that submit a request—just ask! 😊

Superle and the UFV Food and Agriculture Centre can also help support farmers’ recovery by providing help with writing services such as grant applications and impact statements, opportunities to be interviewed about your experiences, and UFV-funded student placements.

Free writing services

  • Blog posts
  • Grant applications
  • Impact/victim statements. And more! Just ask!

Opportunities for farmers to share their “flood stories” through interviews with Dr. Superle and her research team

  • Choose to share anonymously or with your name
  • Choose to share in interview, written, and/or artistic format
  • Choose to share privately (i.e., with Dr. Superle’s research team only)
  • Choose to share publicly (i.e., on the UFV FAI website, in a report to the BC Ministry of Agriculture, etc)

Ongoing support through UFV-funded student placements

  • Practicum/co-op placements, Work Study positions, grant-funded research or support positions, etc)
  • Get in touch to explain your needs, and we’ll do our best to find the right student to support you!