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By using the best evidence to invest in what really determines health, we can identify what we want and what we need. And we can make it happen.

  • Upstream Radio: From isolation to inclusion

    Upstream talks with Renata Cosic, organizer and activist for refugees and immigrants in Saskatchewan, and Don Kossick on Making the Links, on the Canadian health crises of social isolation and economic exclusion.

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  • Build bridges between cultures for healthier communities

    Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) is a national organization with a mission to ‘build bridges’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in Canada, by facilitating dialogue and strengthening relationships through leadership programs, to promote respect, understanding and reconciliation.

    We know Aboriginal status determines health outcomes in a disproportionately negative way, compared to those of non-Indigenous peoples. One way we can work toward changing this injustice, is through these approaches for intercultural understanding.

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  • published Lessons from the land in In The Community 2015-11-23 23:45:56 -0600

    Lessons from the land

    I come from a background that's both urban and prairie, in pretty equal measures.

    These different settings gave me a land-based perspective, and one that's more in-line with the more conventional 'Western' education system. They don't need to be mutually exclusive.

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  • published Living wages help employers too in At Work 2015-10-28 18:10:55 -0600

    Living wages help employers too

    $16.77 per hour is how much workers in Saskatoon need to earn just to afford the basics of life. But why would a business pay more than the legislated minimum wage?

    The Better Good's owner Laura Neufeld recently told Upstream of her experience  as a Living Wage employer, and why there are concretely positive reasons for businesses to pay workers what they need to live.

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  • published Dr. Danyaal Raza in About 2015-08-18 15:55:14 -0600

    Dr. Danyaal Raza

    DRaza.jpgDanyaal Raza is a Toronto-based family physician and advocate for upstream thinking. His writing, research and advocacy focuses on the social determinants of health, and healthy public policy. Based at the Department of Family & Community Medicine of St. Michael's Hospital, he is also a Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Toronto.

    "Doctors often recommend the “exercise and diet” strategy to prevent and treat diabetes and other ailments. We should apply the same action plan to build and govern our cities."

    Dr. Raza serves on the Board of Directors of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, on the Poverty & Health Committee of the Ontario College of Family Physicians in addition to the Advisory Board of Upstream.

    He is a Harvard University Master's of Public Health graduate and former Family Medicine Fellow in Global Health at the University of Toronto. Danyaal completed his clinical training at Western University and Queen's University.

    "While there are some clinical interventions I can use to address income and health, systemic policy change will be the ultimate lever of change."

    As a part of the team at the inner-city teaching hospital and epicenter for the shift toward a health-in-all-policies approach, Danyall spends a lot of his time thinking about the social determinants of health.

    He recently teamed up with Upstream's Ryan Meili to write an article on the importance of a health-in-all-policies approach in Canada, and a few years ago wrote this important argument for the role of income inequality in health outcomes.

     You can find a full list of Danyaal's publications and interviews on his website, or follow him on Twitter @DanyaalRaza.


  • published Raffi Cavoukian in About 2015-08-17 11:11:25 -0600


    Raffi-Red-Shirt.jpegRaffi Cavoukian is an Egyptian-born Canadian singer-songwriter, and life-long children's entertainer with a string of gold and platinum-selling recordings in North America. These include his classic “Baby Beluga” song with its beloved melody and lyrics. His pioneering commitment to honouring his young fans played a role in changing the way we view children's music. Raffi founded his own record label called Troubadour, and has dedicated himself to "rescuing" children's recordings from sub-par quality. He was awarded the Fred Rogers Integrity Award in 2006.

    "The young child, I regard as a genius."

    He holds a firm belief that children's screen exposure should be limited, and they should never be directly marketed to under any circumstances. Raffi, whose music blends folk, reggae, ragtime, gospel, jazz, country, and calypso influences, has remained faithful to his non-commercial approach. As a result, during his thirty-year career as a children's music superstar, he's refused all offers for commercial shows and endorsements — even turning down a film adaptation of "Baby Beluga", if it would include merchandising or direct marketing. Raffi has refused to play in theaters larger than 3,000 seats with ticket prices no more than $8.50.

    Raffi is also a social activist who has struggled for non-violence and against war, protection of the environment, and economic equality. He's aimed his messages at the generation who grew up with his children's music, which he's called "Beluga Grads", with whom he hopes he can strike a special chord. In 2004 he published this prescription for our our respect for our children should inform our political decision-making.

    "I’m not interested in maximizing capital, I’m interested in a society that maximizes the goodwill and the resiliency of its children."

    Along with Dr. Sharna Olfman, Raffi co-edited an anthology called Child Honouring: How to Turn this World Around, which introduces a philosophy for respecting and raising children, and restore both our communities and ecosystems to thriving success. The book's foreword is written by the 14th Dalai Lama. His album Resisto Dancing: Songs of Compassionate Revolution is the companion music record album for that book. After learning details surrounding the online bullying, exploitation and ultimate suicide of teenager Amanda Todd in 2012, Raffi and his Centre for Child Honouring co-founded the Red Hood Project for protecting kids online.

    He recently published a new book called Lightweb Darkweb: Three Reasons To Reform Social Media Before it Re-Forms Us, which examines the benefits and dangers of the internet, and our embrace of social media.

    Raffi Cavoukian is a member of Upstream's Advisory Board, and recently participated in an interview with Ryan Meili on a variety of topics, including Child Honouring and the Social Determinants of Health.

  • Will wildfire refugees in Canada finally spur action on climate change?

    A young child arrives at the hospital emergency room in respiratory distress, his asthma worsened by smoke exposure. An elder has uncontrolled blood pressure because there wasn't time to get her medications when the evacuation orders came through. Scabies and other illnesses related to crowding spread quickly through the close quarters of the evacuees. Sudden departure from, and worry about home, bring significant mental stress.

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  • The path to ending homelessness in Regina

    What would it take to end homelessness in Regina?

    It's a difficult question, but upstream thinking teaches us that the answer lies in dealing with the causes of homelessness — not only its symptoms.

    So what are the causes of homelessness in Regina?

    Every instance is unique, but we can think of there being "recipes" for each situation of homelessness made up of different "ingredients", instead of more rigid causes. Many of these recipes share common ingredients, but it is their unique combinations that ultimately lead to homelessness.

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  • Maude Barlow: On the state of Canadian democracy

    Council of Canadians Chair Maude Barlow recently toured the country as part of the Go Vote! cross-Canada campaign, speaking about the state of Canada’s democracy. With the 2015 federal election set for October 19th, the goal of the campaign is to directly engage with the voting public about the kind of change people want to see in their communities, their country, and how they can come together to make it happen.
    Upstream founder Ryan Meili spoke with Maude Barlow to hear her thoughts on the state of Canadian democracy and her predictions for the upcoming federal election.

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