The Sunday Magazine for October 10, 2021

Author and farmer James Rebanks talks about his book Pastoral Song, food researcher Sylvain Charlebois explains what's behind rising food prices, women’s rights activist Najiba Sanjar on leaving Afghanistan, how a Dawson City hockey team made it to the Stanley Cup, writer Billy-Ray Belcourt on his memoir A History of My Brief Body
Helen Mann is guest host of The Sunday Magazine. (Helen Mann)

This week on The Sunday Magazine with guest host Helen Mann: 

Why it's been a year of loss for many farmers

Farmers in Nova Scotia, Alberta and British Columbia reflect on the year that was — from devastating drought, to forest fires, and how they hope to recover.

Author and farmer James Rebanks reflects on stewardship and sustainability

Author and shepherd James Rebanks has thought a lot about stewardship and the relationship between food producers and the natural world, from his family's farm in the rolling hills of England's Lake District. He speaks with Mann about his book Pastoral Song: A Farmer's Journey, which tells the story of how farming has changed over three generations in his family and explores why he is committed to more sustainable farming practices.

Rising food prices have Canadians rethinking what goes on their plate

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to think about how our turkey got to our table, along with the potatoes and pumpkin pie — or whatever you choose to serve. But the food chain has been disrupted — and that, along with a year of catastrophic weather, has led to higher food prices. Food researcher Sylvain Charlebois says that's having an impact on the choices Canadians are making in the grocery aisle, and it's also impacting food insecurity in Canada. The Director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax also gives us a peek at what we might pile on our plate in the future: cultured meat, anyone? 

Why a women's rights activist left Afghanistan

In the wake of the United States-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, women's rights activist Najiba Sanjar believed the promises made by Western governments to rebuild her country, create stability and empower women. She devoted herself and her career to a new vision of Afghanistan. The Sunday Magazine producer Kristin Nelson followed Sanjar as she made the decision to leave her country after the Taliban marched into Kabul last August, and recounts the harrowing story of how she and her family escaped. 

How a team of underdogs from Yukon made a run for the Stanley Cup

As the NHL opens its season this coming week, we look back at a little known chapter in hockey history. Tim Falconer, the author of the new book Klondikers, tells Mann the tale of how a hockey squad from Dawson City, Yukon ended up playing for the Stanley Cup and helped Canada fall in love with the game, all the way back in 1905. 

Writer Billy-Ray Belcourt on why joy and love are acts of rebellion for Indigenous people

Billy Ray Belcourt's memoir A History of My Brief Body just won a 2021 BC and Yukon Book Prize. This past spring, he spoke with Piya Chattopadhyay about how he has blazed a trail of firsts as an Indigenous writer and academic in Canada and beyond. He was the first Indigenous Rhodes Scholar from Canada and in 2018, became the youngest-ever winner of the Griffin Prize for Poetry. He talked to Chattopadhyay about his experience of colonialism as a queer Indigenous man in Canada, and how joy and love can be liberatory, rebellious practices for Indigenous people.