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Society

Feature

September 2018

New small-business projects aim to prove that 'downtown is for everyone'

By Will Pearson

Instead of treating low-income people and others on the margins like a drain on local economies, some small businesses are making them part of the solution instead.

Feature

September 2018

11 Ontarians share their opioid stories in this powerful project

By Mugoli Samba

The Opioid Chapters hopes to add nuance to the public discussion on opioids.

Feature

September 2018

How I fight loneliness as a senior with a disability

By Dorothy Ellen Palmer

This writer might not have The Golden Girls' lifestyle, but she’s making the best of her golden years.

Feature

September 2018

Canadian newcomers finally learn the true history of Indigenous people

By Bonnie Schiedel

Innovative KAIROS events foster friendship and understanding between Indigenous people and new Canadians.

Special Feature

September 2018

Do we face a future without Down syndrome?

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Advances in prenatal testing mean parents can detect the chromosomal difference earlier. What does this mean for the future of Down Syndrome?

Feature

September 2018

'Feeling alone in a place you don’t know is just crazy'

By Sarah Treleaven

For some refugees, coming to Canada is incredibly lonely. Volunteers are trying to change that.

Feature

August 2018

New Edmonton camp allows transgender kids to just be themselves

By Alison Brooks-Starks

Camp Dragonfly is a break from public life from trans children, says the organizer, where their 'existence is constantly under question.'

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

Moms raising their 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

'A good death is being at peace with God, with others and with the self'

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

Canadian photographer highlights less-known parts of our national identity

By Jonathon Reed

Jonathon Reed biked 15,000 kilometres across Canada earlier this year and met some fascinating people on his journey.

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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