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Justice

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

For people with disabilities, the door to Canadian citizenship is often closed

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

As Indigenous elders die, a new generation turns to technology to keep languages alive

By Richard Wright

“Someone once said to me that if you lose your language and culture, you are just a descendant of Ojibwe people, but not Ojibwe.” “I want to be Ojibwe.”

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

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

By Justin Dallaire

"Universities are supposed to be places for the exchange of ideas, not for ideological war."

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

After ISIS attacks, Yazidi survivors fight for their ancient way of life

By Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery.

Feature

June 2017

Each carefully chosen gift in this Canadian's luggage offers a glimpse into the lives of Cubans today

By Christopher Levan

You’ll find more than giveaway toiletries and hand-me-downs in the writer's luggage.

Feature

June 2017

Undocumented people share how they live outside the system

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

Inuit in Ottawa for medical treatment 'extremely homesick'

By Ian Coutts

Canada's capital plays host each year to thousands of Inuit needing medical attention they can't get back home. Two local residences offer some comforts of home, but the experience can still be disorienting.

Special Feature

May 2017

Stolen mothers: Most missing and murdered Indigenous women were parents

By Kristy Woudstra

With the national inquiry hearings set to begin, we talk to five daughters who were left behind.

Feature

April 2017

Addiction struggles led my nephew to crime and imprisonment. Is there hope for him on the outside?

By Julie McGonegal

"My sister has said the only peace she knows is when her son is in prison. When Justin is out, she is perpetually on edge with worry, always on the brink of a breakdown."

Special Feature

March 2017

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

By Paul Wilson

After Donald Trump’s election, The Observer visits United Church of Christ congregations to learn more about how the denomination is responding to “the new reality.”

Feature

March 2017

Pilgrimage to the Washington Women’s March

By Katie Toth

Feature

February 2017

Roads to reconciliation

By Erin DeBooy

A travelling exhibit of images from the former residential school in Brandon, Man., is designed to educate and unite

Feature

January 2017

‘Love Trumps Hate’

By Denise Davy

A Canadian woman marches on Washington and sees a generation of feminists ready to take on the world

Feature

January 2017

Do they like it here? In a word: yes.

By May Tartoussy

For Syrian refugees, adapting to Canadian culture is hard. We asked a Syrian-born Arabic-speaking journalist to interview some of the United Church-sponsored newcomers about learning to live in a new land

Feature

January 2017

Achievements and challenges

By Colin Maclean

Last year, more than 35,000 Syrian refugees — many United Church-sponsored — began their adjustment to life in Canada. The Observer checks in on their progress.

Feature

January 2017

When an Indigenous teen disappeared, an Ontario church provided a space to gather and grieve

By Meg Illman-White

"I wish I could say that Kenora’s two predominant cultures (Anishnaabe and Anglo-Saxon) mix easily, but there are few places where this happens. We are often two solitudes. But on the first Sunday morning after the search for Delaine began, the hearts of Knox’s congregation were turned to prayer for her and her family."

Feature

January 2017

Should animals have the same rights as humans?

By Kat Eschner

A legal bid to save 21 former fighting dogs from being euthanized is part of a growing movement to grant animals some of the same rights as humans

Feature

December 2016

What the beating of Abdirahman Abdi says about racism in Canada

By Anthony Bailey

Canadians are deceiving themselves if they think anti-Black prejudice is only an American affliction. A recent deadly police beating casts our own bigotry in stark relief.

Special Feature

December 2016

Room at the Inn

By Paul Knowles

Feature

December 2016

Missing, murdered women

By Elena Gritzan

Kairos creates online hub for national inquiry

Feature

November 2016

A French malaise

By Tim Johnson

The writer returns to France after a 13-year hiatus and discovers a country increasingly uneasy about its growing multiculturalism

Feature

November 2016

Neglected no more

By Evie Ruddy

The remains of dozens of children lie buried near the location of the residential school they attended in Regina. Local activists are determined to protect the site from being developed or forgotten.

Columns

(Photo: cuatrok77/Flickr via Creative Commons)

Cormorants aren't the devil

by Douglas Hunter

Ontario's proposed new measures amount to a slaughter of an entire native bird species for no scientifically compelling reason, says this writer

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Editorials

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

The new name of 'The Observer' revealed!

by Jocelyn Bell

"United Church" will no longer be on the cover, but our commitment to sharing denominational news and perspectives remains the same

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Video

Meet beloved church cats Mable and Mouse

by Observer Staff

They're a fixture of Kirk United Church Centre in Edmonton.

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Society

February 2019

Marriage problems: Is the ancient tradition worth saving?

by Pieta Woolley

Bitterness and boredom seem to define many mid-life marriages, but we might not have to settle for apathy ever after

Ethics

February 2019

A Yukon artist and a Tlingit trapper create this stunning jewelry

by Amy van den Berg

The fur jewelry in Whitehorse boutique store V. Ægirsdóttir is creating a new possibility for future partnerships with the region's trappers

Columns

February 2019

Why white people need to stop asking, 'where are you from?'

by Mike Sholars

"...For all intents and purposes, Canada is the only home I really recognize or remember. But none of that matters if I look like I don’t belong, and that single question makes that abundantly clear every single time."

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