GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

Giving a voice to the world's most fascinating untold global and social issues.

A Visit to the Dark Parts of Canada’s Past: Taking Steps Towards a Brighter Future

Not far from the sleepy suburb where we grew up, there is a site of unspeakable trauma. About 120 kilometers west of Toronto, you’ll find the grounds of the former Mohawk Institute, one of Canada’s longest-running residential schools. From 1828 until it finally shuttered in 1970, thousands of Indigenous children were sent to the boarding sch...

June 10th, 2018 read more

What Happens When Day Zero Comes Here?

A winter of bitter winds but little snow gives way to a dry spring. April showers are just a nursery rhyme. City officials ask citizens to take shorter showers. The drought drags through summer. By September, the town pumps are dredging up mud. One morning, you turn on your tap and nothing comes out. What do you do? Cape Town is struggling to...

April 4th, 2018 read more

Accessibility Isn’t Enough—For Some it’s a Four Letter Word

Chris Pratt knew he’d made a mistake. The Guardians of the Galaxy star shared a video on social media, asking his followers to ignore the subtitles and turn up the volume. He didn’t realize how insulting that was for the nearly 400 million people around the world who have hearing loss and rely on those subtitles—until some of them lamba...

March 5th, 2018 read more

Empathy in the Face of Addiction

Ruston Baldwin took his first drink when he was two years old. His father was an angry man and a drinker himself. He raised Baldwin on beer. When Baldwin was seven, his mother was diagnosed with a severe case of scleroderma, an autoimmune disorder. Every year, doctors would amputate parts of her hands and feet as her blood stopped circulating. W...

February 12th, 2018 read more

Beware of Hidden Messages in Memes—Think Before You Click

A man gapes over his shoulder at the pretty girl who just passed him on the street. Beside him, his girlfriend glares in outrage. The punchline is in the captions: the head-turner is the new iPhone X, while the jilted girlfriend is the already-passé iPhone 8. You’ve probably seen—and shared—some version of this popular “distracted boyfr...

January 7th, 2018 read more

Giving back is a family affair.

Most holidays come with ready-made traditions—some important, some frivolous. Canada Day is for barbequing and fireworks, and Thanksgiving is for expressing gratitude for our bountiful lives (while devouring a big bird). Seven Canadian provinces have established a holiday in February to break up the bleak winter months with another long weeken...

February 4th, 2017 read more

A Resolution for All Canadians

Canada’s poet laureate Gord Downie inspired us to think about reconciliation and resolutions. And it’s the Indigenous leaders we’ve spoken to who have given us the tools and advice we need to advance this important project. As we enter 2017 and our country’s 150th year, sharing stories and rewriting the narrative surrounding Indigenous p...

January 7th, 2017 read more

How to raise gracious competitors: Raise cooperators instead

Donald Trump once had his own board game. "It's not whether you win or lose," promised the ad, which ran in 1989, "It's whether you win." It seems the US presidential candidates have taken this advice to the campaign trail. Winning is the only option. Trump has suggested he wouldn’t concede an election loss, bucking the US tradition to l...

November 5th, 2016 read more

Without packages, boxes or bags: Your zero waste grocer

What’s in your fridge? Perhaps there’s bacon. Or the fixings for an omelet with cheese and tomato. But how much is actually edible? How much of it is packaging? Bacon slices are peeled out of a disposable plastic packet, while the eggs stand sentinel in a Styrofoam carton. Tomatoes are locked in a clamshell box, those miniature plastic pr...

October 29th, 2016 read more

Canada’s unwritten smash hit historical musical

When we heard about Wexford Collegiate School in Scarborough receiving a cease-and-desist letter for their unlicensed production of Hamilton, we got to wondering. First, about heartless intellectual property lawyers. Second: why would a group of Canadian students risk a takedown notice to perform an American history musical? What about Canada...

October 22nd, 2016 read more