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Society

Feature

August 2018

Why harm reduction can help end the drug crisis once and for all

By Kat Armstrong

'I’d like to see it be part of the education system so that the stigma can be lifted about people accessing these drugs,' says one youth councillor.

Feature

July 2018

9 of the most memorable protests in sports history

By Mugoli Samba

These athletes made powerful statements on pressing issues of the day.

Special Feature

July 2018

Babies behind bars

By Raizel Robin

Women incarcerated in federal prisons are allowed to keep their children with them for up to five years, but few mothers do. We investigate why.

Feature

July 2018

Best self-care tips for caregivers

By Kate Spencer

Counsellors, teachers and ministers share what it looks like for them.

Special Feature

July 2018

Instead of retirement, these two nurses are battling Vancouver's opioid crisis

By Roberta Staley

At age 71 and 65 respectively, Evanna Brennan and Susan Giles embrace their unconventional work in the Downtown Eastside.

Feature

June 2018

Poet Dionne Brand takes on Donald Trump and Jordan Peterson in powerful commencement speech

By Mugoli Samba

The Canadian poet, filmmaker, educator and activist received an honorary degree from the University of Toronto.

Feature

June 2018

The Swedish tradition of death cleaning explained

By Fiona Tapp

The practice of a final tidy up is making its way to North America. Here’s how to lighten your load one last time.

Feature

June 2018

“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.

Feature

June 2018

When friends decide to co-parent: A look at the modern family

By Raizel Robin

A year after Ontario allowed platonic friends to be the legal guardians of a child, Raizel Robin reports on this new way of parenting.

Feature

June 2018

5 steps to help you start death cleaning

By Fiona Tapp

The Swedish tradition of a final tidy up might sound depressing, but it will lighten your load physically, mentally and spiritually.

Feature

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.

Feature

May 2018

Syrian refugee finds beautiful way to help those he ‘left behind’

By Mugoli Samba

Soon after moving to Canada, Ousama Alkhatib helped launch an arts program for Syrian newcomers in Toronto that also gives back to refugees still in camps.

Feature

May 2018

These Canadian Muslims are tackling Islamophobia with kindness


By Sarah Treleaven

From free coffee to stand-up comedy, Muslims are finding creative ways to deal with stereotypes

Column

March 2018

Humanitarian in Haiti discusses her work and Trump's recent remarks

By Jackie Gillard

After her high school graduation in 2010, Morgan Wienberg decided to go to Haiti to help after the earthquake. She has never left.

Feature

March 2018

14 writers share their moving final conversations with loved ones

By Various Writers

These stories will make you laugh, cry and rage. Maybe they’ll spark a fond memory. Or perhaps they’ll prompt you to consider the things you need to say now, before it’s too late.

Feature

February 2018

Canada has yet to begin the process of reconciliation

By Stephanie Strachan

We now have a responsibility to Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie to face our structural racism and work toward decolonization together.

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

Screen time: Painless ways to curb your smartphone addiction

By Trisha Elliott

Lent is the perfect time to stop getting distracted by your mobile

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

January 2018

Photos celebrating children with Down syndrome and their families are pure joy

By Kristy Woudstra

Feature

January 2018

One resolution you should actually keep

By Kristy Woudstra

Ring in the New Year by tuning out your inner critic

Feature

January 2018

The good death

By Pieta Woolley

Anglican professor Donald Grayston made dying in peace a lifetime project. His example is inspiring others to plan a meaningful exit.

Special Feature

December 2017

A Canadian pilgrimage

By Jonathon Reed

An adventure photographer's cross-country cycling journey spotlights less-familiar layers of our national identity

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

December 2017

Move over, Freud

By Ian Coutts

Philosopher-therapists are using their abstract discipline to help people lead more meaningful lives

Feature

December 2017

Halifax blast remembered

By David Gilchrist

A century ago, on the frigid morning of Dec. 6, 1917, a blast rocked the city of Halifax, obliterating everything within an 800-metre radius of the waterfront, damaging hundreds of other buildings and killing nearly 2,000 people.

Special Feature

November 2017

Trump country

By David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Special Feature

October 2017

Fall from grace

By Justin Dallaire

Don Hume was a United Church minister nearing retirement. Then he tried crack cocaine.

Feature

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

By Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

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

Columns

Moderator nominee Colin Phillips gives his nomination speech at General Council. (Credit: Richard Choe)

Hey, United Church — we could have talked about my disability

by Colin Phillips

A moderator nominee says the majority of commissioners at General Council weren't comfortable enough to truly engage him.

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Observations

Editor/Publisher of The Observer, Jocelyn Bell.

Observations: The rewards of letting go

by Jocelyn Bell

Editor Jocelyn Bell reflects on the upcoming changes for The United Church of Canada, the magazine and in her own life.

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Video

ObserverDocs: Two nurses tackle Vancouver's opioid crisis

Richard Moore is a resident of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. In this poignant interview, he explains the important work of nurses Evanna Brennan and Susan Giles.

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Columns

August 2018

Why Canada’s first-ever minister for seniors is long overdue

by Julie Lalonde

A gerontologist says she hopes that a ministry dedicated to elder issues will mean that seniors finally have a voice in policy making.

Columns

August 2018

Hey, United Church — we could have talked about my disability

by Colin Phillips

A moderator nominee says the majority of commissioners at General Council weren't comfortable enough to truly engage him.

Interviews

August 2018

'Photography was the way that I could share different Indigenous realities'

by Emma Prestwich

Award-winning photographer Nadya Kwandibens wants to change the perception of Indigenous people through her work.

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