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Society

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

'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

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

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

By Justin Dallaire

At first, he used the drug about once a month. Then it was every few weeks. Then every few days. Before he knew it, addiction had a grip on him.

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

Feature

October 2017

10,000 meals

By Anne Bokma

As Canadian families prepare to mark Thanksgiving, the writer reflects on the routine and ritual of breaking bread together

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.

Editorials

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Editorials

The Observer has a bright future ahead

by Jocelyn Bell

Change is as vital to the publication's history as our founding Christian values are to our future, says editor and publisher Jocelyn Bell.

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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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Ethics

January 2019

Where to donate your unwanted stuff so it actually goes to those who need it

by Glynis Ratcliffe

It may be tempting when you declutter to just drop off all your items at Value Village, but sticking with local organizations is a better option.

Faith

January 2019

Former fundamentalists describe the trauma of leaving their faith

by Anne Bokma

At a weekend retreat, participants find the strength to reclaim their lives.

Columns

January 2019

I worry the United Church doesn't want evangelicals like me

by Marilyn Myhre

While the church community says it accepts everyone, one woman wonders if that is still true.

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