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Justice

Feature

July 2018

86-year-old Hiroshima survivor is still fighting for a nuclear-free world

By Denise Davy

Setsuko Thurlow says that no one should ever endure the 'massive and grotesque scale of death and suffering' caused by an atomic bomb.

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

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 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.

Faith

The author is baptized at Central United in Calgary. (Photo courtesy of Al Coe)

Why I got baptized in a United Church at the age of 42

by Jacqueline Mercer-Livesey

"I told myself that I didn’t need to go to church to believe in God. I found peace and the Holy Spirit in the things that surrounded me. But still, there was a nagging sense of something missing."

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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

June 2018

The moment the Pope asked me to pray for him

by Miriam Spies

A United Church minister on the impact of a simple gesture from a powerful man.

Society

July 2018

Best self-care tips for caregivers

by Kate Spencer

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

Faith

July 2018

Meet your 2018 moderator nominees

by Mike Milne

Later this month, General Council commissioners will choose the United Church’s next moderator. As of press time, 10 leadership hopefuls had been announced. We asked each of them to sum up their pitch in a tweet.

Faith

July 2018

A fond farewell to presbyteries

by Steven Chambers

They will likely be eliminated this year as the United Church restructures. Steven Chambers celebrates the end of an era.

Society

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.

Columns

June 2018

I hate you, Canada, for teaching people to treat me like this under your name

by Zach Running Coyote

A Cree actor says he blames our country for the racist comments recently directed at him in a McDonald's restaurant.

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