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Justice

Feature

July 2018

Why this blanket exercise is now essential training for RCMP cadets

By Wanda Schmöckel

The exercise synthesizes 500 years of colonization under the observation of a local Indigenous elder.

Feature

June 2018

Palestinian activist informs the world through social media

By Mugoli Samba

Rana Nazzal talks about what protesting and reclaiming narratives is like in Palestine.

Feature

June 2018

How Canadians can help stop children being torn from their parents at the U.S. border

By Julie McGonegal

What can we really do this side of the border anyway? Quite a lot, actually. And there’s no time to waste.

Special Feature

June 2018

#MeToo in the United Church

By Trisha Elliott

9 women share their stories of harassment and sexual assault in the United Church.

Feature

June 2018

Why everyone is talking about the Safe Third Country Agreement

By Emma Prestwich

Canada has designated the U.S. a safe country for refugees, a stance many say should be changed given mass arrests and family separations.

Feature

June 2018

Secrets to writing an effective letter to your MP, from a former MP

By Jackie Gillard

Feature

May 2018

Why P.E.I. didn’t provide abortions for 35 years

By Angela Mombourquette

A group of pro-choice activists fought heavy opposition — and finally won last year

Feature

May 2018

Atlantic Canada’s abortion doula

By Angela Mombourquette

Feature

May 2018

Timeline of abortion access in P.E.I.

By Angela Mombourquette

Feature

May 2018

Courts tell residential school survivors they didn't go to a residential school

By Josiah Neufeld

During the 1960s and 1970s, more than 1,000 Indigenous children were sent to a United Church-run residence in Teulon, Man. Many were abused but have yet to be heard.

Feature

April 2018

How families cope when a loved one goes missing

By Justin Dallaire

A Quebec man went for a walk in the early morning of March 16, 2016, and hasn’t been seen since. His family, like many loved ones of the missing, finds it impossible to grieve — or give up hope.

Feature

March 2018

Thursdays in Black: Campaign calling an end to gender-based violence

By Kristy Woudstra

Lyn van Rooyen talks about the spiritual discipline of wearing black every week.

Feature

March 2018

The biggest threat to women in South Africa is their partners

By Kristy Woudstra

An investigation of why one woman is murdered every eight hours by her husband or boyfriend in this African country — and how advocates are trying to stop it.

Feature

February 2018

Every Canadian needs to read Senator Murray Sinclair's response to Stanley verdict

By Kristy Woudstra

After the acquittal of Gerald Stanley for the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, many expressed their anger, hurt and frustration on social media, including Senator Murray Sinclair, who chaired Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Feature

February 2018

Reconciliation process: What can Canada learn from Australia?

By Alanna Mitchell

Both countries have terrible histories with Indigenous peoples. The writer travels Down Under to find out how they're trying to make it right.

Feature

February 2018

Australian and Canadian churches work on promoting Indigenous rights

By Alanna Mitchell

Special Feature

January 2018

Jehovah's Witnesses cover-up

By Kristy Woudstra

Canadian survivors of childhood sexual abuse are coming forward to reveal how their church failed them — and protected their predators

Feature

December 2017

Inaccessible

By Kristy Woudstra

Immigration rules say would-be Canadians with disabilities can put an ‘excessive demand’ on the medical system. Families and supporters are fighting back.

Feature

October 2017

Language lifeline

By Richard Wright

As Indigenous elders pass on, a new generation is turning to technology to keep ancestral tongues alive

Feature

October 2017

Indigenous cuisine

By Kristy Woudstra

One of Canada’s hottest food trends has been millennia in the making. In Toronto alone, three Indigenous restaurants opened their doors over the past year, putting the spotlight on First Nations cuisine and traditions.

Feature

September 2017

Clamour on campus

By Justin Dallaire

Ideologies are colliding at Canadian universities, and free speech is caught in the crossfire

Feature

September 2017

Sidebar: Free speech flashpoints

By Justin Dallaire

Feature

September 2017

Sidebar: ‘Most students are very respectful of diverse political and religious views’

By Justin Dallaire

Rev. Ralph Carl Wushke, a United Church minister and ecumenical chaplain at the University of Toronto, talks about free speech on campus

Feature

September 2017

The other residential schools

By Trisha Elliott

Nine Canadian boarding schools for the deaf and blind have faced legal action. Former students remember the abuse and displacement they experienced as children.

Feature

September 2017

‘Wherever we went, I saw need’

By Tim Johnson

A frequent traveller can’t help but encounter extreme poverty. What’s the best way to make a difference while abroad?

Special Feature

June 2017

Resisting genocide

By Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.

Feature

June 2017

A suitcase for Cuba

By Christopher Levan

You’ll find more than giveaway toiletries and hand-me-downs in the writer's luggage. Each carefully chosen gift offers a glimpse into the lives of Cubans today.

Feature

June 2017

Undocumented

By Kristy Woudstra

Up to half a million people are living in Canada without official status. The ‘sanctuary city’ movement is growing, but the fear of deportation persists.

Feature

June 2017

Southern exposure

By Ian Coutts

Ottawa plays host each year to thousands of Inuit seeking medical treatment they can’t get in Nunavut. Two local residences offer some comforts of home, but the experience can still be disorienting.

Special Feature

May 2017

Stolen mothers

By Kristy Woudstra

Almost 90 percent of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women were parents. With the national inquiry hearings set to begin, we talk to five daughters who were left behind.

Society

Sandy and Allan Wilson.

“Thank you for being my dopted parents”

by Allan Wilson

Eighteen years after his teen son died of cancer, this writer celebrates a new type of fatherhood when he becomes legal guardian of a man with disabilities.

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Editorials

The United Church Observer's editor and publisher, Jocelyn Bell. Photo: Lindsay Palmer

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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Video

ObserverDocs: Playing by Heart

by Observer Staff

United Church music director Kara Shaw was born prematurely, became almost totally blind and was later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Today, the 28-year-old showcases her unique musical ability, performing piano on local and national stages.

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Society

June 2018

Why some women of colour are hesitant to say #MeToo

by Jacky Habib

Three women share their stories in the hope of creating safe spaces they never had.

Environment

May 2018

A Kinder Morgan protest in photos and song

by Kimiko Karpoff

On April 28, 2018, faith leaders from many traditions, including the United Church, stood in solidarity with Water Protectors from the Tsleil-Waututh nation to protest the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C.. Kimiko Karpoff captured the day in pictures.

Faith

June 2018

After 93 years, this will be the United Church's last General Council meeting

by Mike Milne

When the United Church meets in July, top priorities will be a streamlined governance structure and Indigenous ministries.

Justice

June 2018

#MeToo in the United Church

by Trisha Elliott

9 women share their stories of harassment and sexual assault in the United Church.

Columns

May 2018

On grief and the healing power of gardening

by Paul Fraumeni

A writer reflects on how growing tomatoes is helping him find peace while dealing with the loss of loved ones, including his son.

Editorials

June 2018

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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