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The Doc Project
55 minutes | Jan 14, 2022
Acts of Resistance
Gina Laing and Dennis Bob are survivors of the Alberni Indian Residential School on Vancouver Island. Both experienced abuse at the school, and still navigate the effects of that trauma. But Gina and Dennis are finding ways to heal and to regain agency in their lives. That includes returning to the grounds of the former school. PLUS, 15-year-old Skyla Hart chooses to remain seated every Monday when O Canada plays on the intercom at her high school. For Skyla, it’s a sign of respect to her Ojibwe and Cree ancestors. Skyla, her mom Raven Hart, and researcher Rob Houle share their thoughts on re-imagining O Canada for today -- a conversation that is starting with Indigenous youth, and inviting everyone.
55 minutes | Jan 7, 2022
The Last Coal Miners
The Highvale coal mine, operating since 1970, was the largest strip coal mine in Canada. There is still plenty of coal underground at the mine, but that is where it will stay. Coal is the single biggest global contributor to climate change and Canada has committed to putting an end to coal-fired electricity by 2030, with talk of a “just transition” away from coal. As part of the efforts to meet this target, the Canadian Government has paid out coal mines to leave coal in the ground. TransAlta, the company that owns the Highvale coal mine and adjacent power plants the coal has fueled, committed to being coal-free by 2022. It closed the Highvale mine December 31st, New Years Eve 2021, laying off 78 workers. Previous rounds of layoffs had already eliminated hundreds of unionized jobs that were once stable, paid well and offered benefits. Doc Project producer Kristin Nelson was in Wabamun for the days leading up to mine’s closure, asking the people living through it, what it takes to achieve a “just transition” away from fossil fuels… and what’s at stake if we don’t get it right?
54 minutes | Dec 31, 2021
Searching For Kevin
Back in 1987, Janice Hoy was 17, and pregnant. She and her high-school boyfriend, Earl, placed their son for adoption. Years passed, Janice and Earl stayed together and had three more boys. But they never told them about their older brother. Decades later when Earl died suddenly in a snowmobile accident, Janice decided to face the trauma of losing both her husband and her firstborn son… by searching for Kevin.
58 minutes | Dec 24, 2021
Simply Having a Very Odd Christmastime
It was a surreal delight for Kent Hoffman to produce an interview with the American mentalist 'The Amazing Kreskin' on CBC Radio in 2009. But what really surprised Kent was when, a few months later, he received a Christmas card from Kreskin... and every single Christmas since. It turns out that Kreskin sends out thousands of holiday cards, every year, and it means as much to him as it does to his legions of grateful Kreskin card recipients. PLUS, Ever get a present that made you wonder, “Does this person know me at all!?” Comedian Bob Kerr has wondered this repeatedly, every time his mother insisted on giving him jewelry. Even a jewelry box to keep it all in. The only problem? Bob doesn't… wear... jewelry. (Originally broadcast December, 2020)
50 minutes | Dec 17, 2021
Refugees Helping Refugees
Calgary’s Sudanese community is struggling. After fleeing civil war in Sudan, refugees are struggling with poverty, gangs, drugs and violence in their new home. Some in the community feel like they are cursed. Akeir Mel Kuol and Stephen Deng both arrived in Canada as refugees, but are now working to change their community’s narrative. They are refugees helping refugees.
55 minutes | Dec 10, 2021
Whose Condo Is It, Anyway? [Rebroadcast]
When Craig Desson bought his condo in Montreal, he was finally achieving a big life goal of home ownership. But there was a question echoing in his mind. Montreal is on unceded territory of the Kanien'kehá:ka (often referred to as Mohawk). And if Montreal is on unceded territory, can he really own it? Craig and Doc Project host Acey Rowe trace the claim to the land his condo is on back through history, through property booms and busts, from a group of monks who gambled it all away to some dubious cross-planting by one Jacques Cartier -- all the way back to the original inhabitants, for a conversation with Mohawk Council of Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon to hear what he thinks, and what he hopes for the future. (Originally broadcast May, 2021)
55 minutes | Dec 3, 2021
In The Neighbourhood
CBC News producer Steve McNally recently took a trip back to the Ottawa neighbourhood where he grew up to meet up with some old school friends. But this isn't just any school reunion - or even a particularly happy one. An alarming number of Steve's old schoolmates had become very ill with the same debilitating condition. The question they've been trying to answer for decades now is, could this really just be coincidence? NEXT: Sitting at her desk at the Saskatoon Tribal Council, Dawn Deguire hit an emotional wall. Dawn desperately wanted to be brought back to the last time she felt well: when she was practicing yoga nearly a decade before. Just a few days later, Dawn got an unexpected phone call from a visionary who wanted her help creating a scholarship program for Indigenous yoga teachers. This is a story about the surprising intercultural connection between the Eastern practice of yoga and Indigenous culture, and one woman’s journey to discover wellness within herself.
54 minutes | Nov 26, 2021
Big Tree Hunt
TJ Watt is a bit of a modern Lorax. He uses his camera to protect old-growth trees in British Columbia, capturing the ancient giants before -- and after -- they’ve been cut down. It’s all in the hopes of raising enough public pressure that the B.C. Government will end old growth logging. But why are these ancient trees being logged in the first place? And what’s going to happen next? Follow producer Brad Badelt as he speaks to people from all sides of this complicated issue, from logging supporters to ecological activists; forestry experts to policy makers, and joins TJ and his camera on their bushwhacking hunt for the next Big Tree.
27 minutes | Nov 19, 2021
Surviving a Mudslide
As reports of flooding, evacuations and mudslides in British Columbia emerged this week, two people in Saskatchewan were watching with keen interest... and empathy. That's because they survived a mudslide when they were driving along a B.C. highway in 2018. Sheri Nimegeers and Gabe Rosescu share the harrowing story and explain how the experience of surviving a mudslide changed them.
54 minutes | Nov 12, 2021
Diary of a Reluctant Diabetic
Denial, anger, depression and shame - Type 2 diabetes can lay the ultimate guilt trip. That’s what CBC journalist and musician Emily Brass discovered when she was diagnosed. She also discovered that even though a whopping 1 in 3 Canadians has diabetes or pre-diabetes, nobody seems to talk about it! Forced to make big changes, Emily opens up about her personal struggles in a series of intimate diaries, seeking out other diabetics who help her get answers and smash the hurtful stereotypes about Type 2. Whether you’re living with diabetes, or have ever tried to make changes to get healthier, Emily’s journey will make you think differently about Type 2 and the people who live with it. This episode of The Doc Project is made in collaboration with CBC Manitoba’s original podcast series Type Taboo: Diary of a New Diabetic by Emily Brass and Bridget Forbes. Listen to the full series on CBC Listen or wherever you get your podcasts.
54 minutes | Nov 5, 2021
As a kid, Jonathan Ore was a Warhammer 40k fanatic. He spent hours painting the thumb-sized miniatures used in the tabletop game, and met up with his friends to play in his uncle's comic book shop. As an adult, Jonathan abandoned the hobby. But when the pandemic hit, he started painting again, and re-engaging with the Warhammer community, this time online… only to discover that divisive debates had found their way to the fandom. Suddenly, Jonathan was faced with questions: How did this happen, and did he really want back in after all? Jonathan unpacks the surprising history of this incredibly popular but underreported game, and speaks to people about engaging in a fandom that’s increasingly torn apart, all while trying to find his own place within it.
57 minutes | Oct 29, 2021
Grade 10 was going to be Richard Kelly Kemick’s year. He’d transferred to a new high school and this, Richard thought, was the perfect opportunity to catapult himself into popularity by hosting a Halloween party in his parents’ suburban Calgary basement. Twenty years later and still lightly traumatized, Richard checks in with three former classmates to get their read on how the party went so completely off the rails. PLUS, For nearly 40 years, staff at the old CKUA radio station in downtown Edmonton have been describing ghostly encounters. The legend goes that the spirit of a former caretaker named “Sam” haunts the halls, and some employees swear it felt like he watched them as they worked. But can the Alberta Paranormal Investigators Society find a trace of ghostly Sam, and can a deep dive into the City of Edmonton Archives prove that a living Sam ever even existed?
48 minutes | Oct 22, 2021
As a kid, Nabeel Pervaiz had no patience for his father’s favourite family activity: “mushairas,” or poetry symposiums. Nabeel’s father, Munir, would fill the family’s living room with people, food, music and poets performing Urdu poetry, while little Nabeel rolled his eyes. Nabeel, meanwhile, loved music: the louder and more obscure, the better. Then last year, a mystery began to unfold in the form of a long-forgotten ‘80s synth-pop album, Disco Se Aagay. This new wave-infused, disco-pop record was sung in Urdu! This is the story of a nearly forgotten album getting its overdue recognition, and a father and son finding common ground in its grooves. PLUS: Tej Swatch has always admired his father. His intelligence, his kindness, his work ethic... and his beard. When you're a Sikh man, your beard is seen as a sign of your faith. But while Tej's dad would leave for work every day with a beautifully coiffed beard, Tej just could not get his own beard to evolve beyond its "steel wool puffball" state. A story of coming to terms with the struggle of your beard, and the expectations that grow with it.
49 minutes | Oct 15, 2021
For the past eight years, author Christy Ann Conlin has been living a life that used to, in part, belong to someone else: her husband Andy’s first wife, Meg, who died of cancer at age 43. Now, Christy Ann is married to Meg’s husband, lives in Meg’s house in rural Nova Scotia, and has formed a blended family with Meg’s children. But it was the surprising relationship with Meg’s three sisters, and her unexpected relationship with Meg herself, that has Christy Ann asking, what does it really mean to be a family? And how to, if not fill someone else’s shoes, walk beside them?
52 minutes | Oct 8, 2021
In the midst of the pandemic lockdown, Kent Hoffman faced one of the most difficult years of his life. One of his oldest friends, Bob Rogers, died. Kent’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, and embarked on a long treatment and recovery. Other family members got sick and died. The personal losses seemed relentless. And many of the rituals and ceremonies that Kent would usually rely on for solace were cancelled or upended: memorial services and birthdays, Christmas and his kids' graduation ceremonies, even the simple greeting ritual of a handshake was gone. So, in the face of mounting grief — Kent set out on a quest to find rituals again, and to squeeze meaning out of the year that was. Once lost, can rituals ever be recovered?
55 minutes | Oct 1, 2021
At the Edmonton Indian Residential School in 1961, a teenaged student named Helen Campbell Johnson was starving. And she was angry. On top of enduring relentless, daily abuse, the 147 kids at the school that year were hungry all the time. Helen worked in the cafeteria. And she knew that while she and the other kids ate meagre rations of inedible canned pork and lumpy oatmeal, the teachers and staff enjoyed a full spread. One Saturday, standing in that cafeteria, something in her snapped, and Helen took action. This is the true story of a group of kids who -- at enormous risk to themselves -- tasted freedom one unforgettable day 60 years ago.
56 minutes | Sep 24, 2021
The Skyluck Journals
In 1979 Andrew Nguyen’s family escaped Vietnam on board a cargo ship named the Skyluck. Andrew was only 4 and can barely remember the trip that changed his life. So when he discovered that his mom, Tina Nguyen, had kept detailed journals of their escape tucked away in a shoebox in their hall closet, Andrew begged her to read them to him. This year... she agreed. The Skyluck Journals document a harrowing story aboard a ship that was never intended for human passengers, and one young woman’s determination to save her family when nobody wanted to offer them safe harbour.
54 minutes | Sep 17, 2021
At the start of the pandemic, the entire Hamadi family found themselves living together under the same roof for the first time... in a long time. The three adult siblings - Adonis, Rima and Rami - hunkered down with their parents, keeping themselves entertained watching movies and pulling pranks. One day, after watching a cooking competition on TV, they decided to try their own cook-off. But what was intended as just another way to pass the time ended up helping the Hamadis, and hundreds of others, make a difference in ways they never could have imagined.
55 minutes | Sep 10, 2021
The Longshot Club
We're back! The new season of The Doc Project kicks off with two stories of longshots, and of keeping the flame alive when the odds aren't on your side. First up: They're sometimes called "paper candidates" or even "sacrificial lambs" - federal election candidates who enter so-called "unwinnable" races. As election day approaches, four former candidates from elections past describe what it’s like to be the horse no one’s betting on. Next: Zeppelin the cat lived a good life, and when his pet parent, Desiree Hobbins, discovered he died in September 2020 she mourned him and spread his ashes in a favourite spot. After eight months of mourning, Hobbins got a call from the Regina humane society saying they found Zeppelin and he was ready to come home. But her cat died… right? She spread his ashes... right?
56 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
The Dosing Room
Julian Uzielli has suffered from clinical depression for as long as he can remember. Over the years, Julian's taken several different antidepressants and seen as many different therapists. Nothing’s worked. Then this past year, pandemic stress set off one of his worst bouts yet. Suicidal thoughts were creeping in with alarming force. Desperate, Julian decided to try something new: medically supervised, legal, guided ketamine therapy. [If you’re in crisis and need help, you can call the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566, or you can send a text to 45-645. They’re there to help.]
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