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.
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?"
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.
In the 18 years since Kilee was diagnosed, David Patchell-Evans' evolving understanding of her condition has mirrored changes in the way scientists talk about autism. From an incurable disease to a spectrum that will affect one in 68 children, we now view autism as a range of conditions that are distinct in every individual.
There's a new cadre of indigenous chefs who are part historian, part cultural ambassador. Piecing together recipes long passed down orally, Chef David Wolfman helps people find a sense of history and identity through food. For many experiencing the residual effects of residential schools, food provides a link to a culture they didn't even know they were missing.
"Go back to your f---ing country," the white man screamed at the non-white man. This outburst was caught on camera, not in post-Brexit England or post-election America, but on a streetcar in the middle of multicultural Toronto. Lately, Canadian headlines teem with tales of hate crimes. So what can you do? Lots.
Too often, the elderly live forgotten in depressing conditions. The mind of a five-year-old might be exactly what elder care needs. What about a facility designed by Disney? It's just one of the creative solutions popping up around the world, proving that engaging, personalized environments improve quality of life, health and longevity for seniors.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ed Gillis wanted to teach his sons about how glaciers are formed, so he took them to the top of New Zealand's Fox Glacier and let them fire questions at a pair of geologists. For eight-year-old Heron Gillis and his brother Sitka, six, the world is their classroom. World schooling can take experiential service learning to the next level.