It has been a year of reckoning for Canada. Reckoning with another year of COVID-19 and all that came with it, and reckoning with our racist past and present.

Now, almost two years into the pandemic, we’ve seen breakthroughs in vaccinations, various lockdown measures put in place and removed, a rise in the anti-vaxx movement and anti-Asian racism and violence, amongst others.

After eight women in Atlanta were murdered in March, authors wrote stories about the impacts this event and ongoing racism had and continues to have on Asian communities. Fifteen professors came together for one article to address #StopAsianHate, another author wrote about how mental health check-ins aren’t enough and we were told in fighting racism, we need to share the burden of responsibility.

These instances saw our communities come together through pain to support and uplift each other despite all that was going on.

Not two months later, horrific news broke as the bodies of 215 Indigenous children were found at former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Since then, hundreds of more have been found, and likely will still continue to be found. Authors wrote pieces addressing why many Canadians don’t seem to care about the lasting effects of residential schools and how Canada will recognize genocide, but not its own.

While there was plenty of darkness there was also light. We learned about pandemic puppies, lip-syncing and death metal and answered some Curious Kids questions about the sky, what blind people see in their dreams and how languages are formed.

Since joining the Culture + Society desk last March, I’ve helped us publish over 220 stories from authors across this country and abroad. As we head into 2022, I would love to hear from you, your ideas, what stories you’d like to read and who you want to be telling them.

Haley Lewis

Culture + Society Editor

Year in Review: Culture + Society

No longer ‘the disappeared’: Mourning the 215 children found in graves at Kamloops Indian Residential School

Veldon Coburn, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa

Ground-penetrating radar located the remains of 215 First Nations children in a mass unmarked grave, revealing a macabre part of Canada’s hidden history.

Nutrition researchers saw malnourished children at Indian Residential Schools as perfect test subjects

Allison Daniel, University of Toronto

We must recognize and understand the harms that malnutrition and nutrition experiments on Indigenous people caused and the legacy they have left.

Why some straight men have sex with other men

Tony Silva, University of British Columbia

Why do men identify as straight if they have sex with other men? And why would a straight man have sex with another man in the first place?

Critical race theory: ‘Diversity’ is not the solution, dismantling white supremacy is

Manjeet Birk, Carleton University

Critical race theory has simply become the latest target of white supremacy. But as you may guess, CRT is not the problem. The problem is diversity.

Cop shows: Should they be cancelled or rebooted?

Tiara Sukhan, Western University

The classic cop show is now a problematic genre, but if it can change, then perhaps real world policing can too.

Pandemic puppies: Canine crisis or happy household?

Beth Daly, University of Windsor

Dogs might be helping people through the pandemic, but should we be concerned by unprepared, impulsive dog purchases?

The U.S.-Canada border may have partially reopened, but intrusive travel restrictions still exist for Indigenous Peoples

Paul McKenzie-Jones, University of Lethbridge

The conversation around the U.S.-Canada land border reopening should include Indigenous people and the restrictions they’ve faced since the international border was created.

The inherent racism of anti-vaxx movements

Paula Larsson, University of Oxford

Vaccine resistance movements have always been led by white, middle-class voices and promoted by structures of racial inequality.

As an Indigenous doctor, I see the legacy of residential schools and ongoing racism in today’s health care

Marcia Anderson, University of Manitoba

A commitment to eliminating racism must be reflected in accountability mechanisms that focus on the impacts of coordinated and consistent anti-racist action.

The controversial history of colourizing black-and-white photos

Roshaya Rodness, University of Toronto

The algorithm has become a new way of capturing reality automatically, and it demands a heightened ethical engagement with photos.

Death-friendly communities ease fear of aging and dying

Julia Brassolotto, University of Lethbridge; Albert Banerjee, St. Thomas University (Canada); Sally Chivers, Trent University

Death-friendly communities that welcome mortality might help us live better lives and provide better care for people at the end of their lives.

The Atlanta attacks were not just racist and misogynist, they painfully reflect the society we live in

Jamie Chai Yun Liew, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa

In trying to make sense of the recent mass killing in Georgia, it’s important to see that it was more than just violence against women and anti-Asian hate.