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Kendra grew up too fast. At 12, she'd do her homework while caring for her twin with non-verbal autism. She'd cook dinner while helping her older brother, living with a severe learning disability, make sense of his school work. At 14, her father died from cancer suddenly, and she assumed even more responsibility.
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The Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" has sparked an international controversy for its depiction of teen suicide. But the hit drama has become a scapegoat for an entire industry that, experts say, could do better in its depictions of mental illness.
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Your kid is holed up in the basement, alone in the dark except for the glowing screen and the alien invaders from their favourite video game. Again. Don't worry; an alternative to space war is on the way.
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This Earth Day, thousands of scientists will descend on Washington DC to protest budget cuts to their departments. The science seems to suggest that when people in lab coats align with one political side, they only drive people further away. Instead, scientists need to stoke our wonder.
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Language trees like Algonquian, Athapaskan and Inuktitut drove their roots into this country millennia before a word of English or French was spoken here. Today, there are more than 60 distinct indigenous languages in Canada. Teaching non-indigenous Canadians would build bridges.
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Canadians can help make their communities resilient. Get together with your neighbours and make a community emergency plan. Identify the most vulnerable in your neighbourhood -- seniors living alone, large families with young children -- and create a volunteer network to check up on them when extreme weather strikes. If you own a business, consider how you could help out--for example, a restaurant might prepare meals for residents stranded in emergency shelters.
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Conventional wisdom in advertising says steer clear of politics. But at the Super Bowl, the Holy Grail of advertising, brands broke the rules. Companies represent 58 per cent of the largest economic entities in the world, with tremendous resources to grow and scale. When they invest meaningfully in causes, marrying profit and purpose, they make sales and social impact.
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Tyler and Alex Mifflin spent summers in the water. Childhood memories of canoe trips and pristine waves contrast heavily with something they heard from adults time and again: "Don't swim in Lake Ontario. It's too polluted." That warning was the first drop in the bucket that's become a shared life goal. March 22 is World Water Day and we need the conversation to extend beyond the environment. So we spoke with the Mifflin brothers about the importance of water and how ordinary people can take action every day in unexpected ways.
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After her assault, the police officer handling Sarah's case invited her to a meeting. A CSIS agent was there. Would she be willing to go undercover, inside a hate group, using her fiancé's connections to get information? There would be no pay. No police protection. Still, Sarah volunteered.
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Sadly, women still march in the streets for the same fundamental rights men take for granted. In developing communities especially, huge gaps remain in areas like women's education, health and economic opportunity. Overlooking men can actually worsen inequality, according to a 2013 World Bank study that examined two decades of research on gender equity programs.
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Ask most Canadians about black history and they'll tell you about slavery in America, victories of the Civil Rights Movement and the giants who led it. But what about Canada? Mathieu Da Costa, a renowned translator hired by Samuel de Champlain, was the first recorded black person in the country.
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The Internet was meant to be this great contest of ideas. But instead of expanding our perspectives, the Internet shows us what it thinks we want to see. Is it also dividing us?
Family Day is thus far a holiday without a tradition. Rather than retreat into separate rooms in the February darkness or risk it becoming just another greeting card holiday, let's imbue this unclaimed occasion with a tradition of giving. Not giving gifts, but giving back as a family to our communities.
Growing up, there was an unspoken absence in Zainib Abdullah's life. In Richmond Hill, Ontario, far from the home her family left in Iraq, she pieced together the story of her uncle. He had been unjustly arrested and disappeared years earlier by Saddam Hussein's government, without a trial or a chance to say goodbye to his loved ones. Now she puts pen to paper, writing letters on behalf of people unfairly imprisoned around the world.
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Civics means learning about citizenship -- how our nation is governed, and our rights and duties as Canadians. It's a subject we believe is every bit as vital as math or science. Yet, across much of Canada, civics is tucked away in high school history or social studies curriculums.
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Kids connect with characters who look like them, even if those characters are sidelined. But during playtime, your kid is the casting director. A toy they can identify with makes them the hero of their own story, and could overcome what we call 'activist's block,' the self-diminishing excuse we hear often: "I'm just one person. What can I do?"
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We need to hear tales that move beyond stereotypes to challenge and teach. These stories are out there - indigenous people have been telling them for generations, but too often we haven't listened.
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Years ago, Archbishop Desmond Tutu counselled us not to get discouraged by disheartening news headlines. Instead, think of them as a to-do list for changing the world, he said. As we look to 2017, we're taking that advice, focusing on positive outcomes and galvanized communities instead of lamenting past events.
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Across Canada, forward-thinking universities and colleges are finding innovative ways to give back to the communities they call home. In so doing, these institutions are also improving the quality of education for their students and strengthening their own relevance in a changing world.
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Canadians send more than nine million tonnes of garbage to landfills every year -- an estimated 35 per cent of that waste is packaging from food and consumer goods. And not all packaging waste makes it to the dump. Scientists have sounded the alarm about pop can holders and grocery bags polluting our waterways and oceans
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Engaging all of your senses to commune with nature sounds a bit hokey. But it is part of a growing movement that recognizes green space is more than just lungs for the Earth. Nature is also vital to the well-being of people -- not just hippies -- and hard science shows it can help address real health concerns.
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This is our history, and it's our duty to learn from and re-tell it. Let's re-imagine these narratives to show all the diversity and creativity of Canada today. Because these stories belong to all of us, and every one of us has a part in telling them.
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Professor Jeremy Bailenson has been researching the neurological and psychological impact of virtual reality for 15 years at Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Visual, auditory and dynamic spatial cues mimic real-life responses in the brain; he's found that the immersive quality of this technology leaves an indelible mark on users in a way that still images don't.
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Food demands on our planet will double by 2050, when the population is set to reach 9.7 billion. With the global dinner table getting crowded, and the planet running out of arable land, it's going to take some extreme gardening to keep everyone fed. These breakthroughs could herald the future of food production.
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Unlike blocked arteries or broken bones, mental illness is shrouded in stigma. People are reluctant to talk about it and, when confronted with someone in crisis, few know what to do. Still, odds are much greater that you'll encounter someone with an anxiety disorder or depression than someone with heart disease. Statistically, mental illness affects much more of the population -- one in five Canadians. You don't have to be a passive bystander, struggling for words or paralyzed by ignorance. You can become a mental health first responder.
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The Rio Olympics have now come to a close, but here's a satirical spectator sport for those of us who were frustrated by the nightly highlight reels belittling female athletes. It's called "Olympic media sexism bingo." Comedian Megan Ford posted the game card on her Twitter account.
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In 2014, alone, almost 8,000 youth ages 15 to 19 were injured on the job in Canada. Another 13 lost their lives, according to the most recent statistics from the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada. Many parents don't realize their children may not legally be old enough to do some jobs.
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A staggering 85 per cent of our collective apparel ends up in a landfill -- that's over 10.5 million tons of clothing, according to the popular second-hand store Value Village. In a single year, Canada produces enough textile waste -- clothing and other goods like upholstery -- to create a mountain three times the size of Toronto's Rogers Centre stadium. Reduce, reuse and recycle has become the mantra of socially conscious consumers. Now we need to extend that philosophy to our old accoutrements.
From Asia to South America, insects have long appeared on the menu in many cultures. But what's truly epic about the edible bug trend is its potential to not only provide a healthy source of food, but also boost incomes among people in developing countries who could never afford chicken or beef from a grocery store.
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Hitch hiking across Canada as a teen, Paul Martin took a summer job as a deckhand on a tug boat in Canada's far north, toiling elbow-to-elbow alongside Dene First Nation, Inuit and Métis crew. When the work was done, he'd talk with them late into the night. His mates were friendly and smart, but the young Martin saw a sense of hopelessness in them. Most had been crushed by years in residential schools.
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In the age of e-readers, search engines and Wikipedia, why do Canadians still cling so tenaciously to these seemingly archaic institutions? Because libraries are so much more than just repositories for books. Canada's libraries are vital community hubs with an ever-growing range of beneficial programs and services.
Let's ditch the stereotypes and ingrained ideas of what independence and having a home mean. Prodigal youth haven't failed to launch and their parents haven't failed to parent. They're both flying in a smarter direction.