Canadian
Indigenous Charity

Give a Donation today to support Canadian Indigenous Communities on their journey to food sovereignty.
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In Canada, Indigenous children and families face higher poverty, more food insecurity and greater health inequities than non-Indigenous people.

We work with Indigenous community partners in a respectful, collaborative way supporting Indigenous-led leadership and solutions to the systemic problems affecting Indigenous people related to food, nutrition, and the environment.

In alignment with the community’s self-defined goals and strategies, the initiatives we fund share the goal to advance and advocate for food sovereignty for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples as a pathway to long-term, sustainable food security.

The Challenges

FOOD INSECURITY

Healthy food is priced out of reach for many Indigenous families, especially in communities located >50 km from a major centre. Food available locally is often expensive and of low quality. The cost of supplies and transportation plus the loss of traditional knowledge about food gathering, growing and hunting limits Indigenous peoples’ abilities to live off the land and waters that have sustained them for millennia.

POOR HEALTH

Indigenous children and adults experience inequities in the social determinants of health – equal access to food, housing, education, income, social and cultural belonging, etc. – that result in incidence of disease and illness far in excess of the general population, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, addictions and mental health issues, among others.

Poverty

Indigenous people experience the highest levels of poverty in Canada, with 1 in 4 First Nations, Métis and Inuit people living in poverty. Approximately 4 in 10 Indigenous children live in poverty, with significant effects on their mental and physical health, and life outcomes.

COLONIZATION & INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA

The impact of colonization, land dispossession, and ongoing racism plus the legacy of residential schools have led to the loss of Indigenous ways of knowing and being and have resulted in lasting, intergenerational harm to Indigenous peoples’ social, economic, spiritual and cultural wellbeing.

In 27 communities across Turtle Island (Canada), your donation will help reduce child hunger and improve food security by:

supporting 4 food forests covering 27.75 acres

establishing 200 *new* gardens (for a total of 519)

growing 13,000+ lbs of food

providing 342,775 meals in school

engaging 2,563 people in land-based education

Current Initiatives

CHILD HUNGER & NUTRITION

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School food programs are one of the most effective ways to help improve children’s nutrition, reduce childhood hunger, and improve longer-term health and learning outcomes. But they must be built on best practices and linked to self-determined community development goals for food security and food sovereignty. CFTC supports children’s nutrition through:
  • Universal, sustainable, comprehensive and culturally-appropriate school food programs
  • Nutrition education in schools and communities – including the incorporation of traditional foods and Indigenous food culture
  • Land-based education that connects children, youth and adults to Indigenous ways of knowing lost through colonization, and rebuilds local food systems, traditions and culture

FOOD SECURITY & FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

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CFTC partners with Indigenous communities on Indigenous-led and self-defined initiatives that advance and advocate for food sovereignty as a pathway to long-term, sustainable food security.

We seek to support Indigenous people who are strengthening connections to local land and food systems and increasing their capacity to shape and steward healthy, culturally-appropriate food systems.

Initiatives improve access to and availability of affordable, culturally-appropriate, nutritious food consistent with each Nation’s unique food traditions. Greater food security will, in turn, help improve the health of children, youth, families, Elders and Nations, recognizing that health encompasses physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of an Indigenous person in reciprocal relationships with their families, communities, the land, the environment, their ancestors, and future generations.

INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY HEALTH

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CFTC supports Indigenous self-defined and led initiatives that deliver practical, community-level solutions that address the root causes of ongoing poorer health among Indigenous people. Initiatives seek to improve the physical, mental, emotional, cultural, and spiritual health of children, youth, families, Elders, communities, and Nations and may include strategies that:
  • Redress inequities in the social determinants of health (e.g., by improving access to health resources, enhancing living conditions, strengthening cultural and social cohesion and inclusion, and/or reducing poverty)
  • • Focus on food, lifestyle and traditional practices that can help prevent disease and aid recovery from high-priority mental and physical health issues that disproportionally affect Indigenous people (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, substance abuse and addiction, etc.)
  • Build and share knowledge and capacity, bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous experts and expertise together to advance and promote better community health practices

INDIGENOUS YOUTH ENGAGEMENT

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CFTC supports programs for Indigenous youth that are grounded in traditional practices and that increase belonging and inclusion, self-esteem and cultural identity, health, wellness, and self-esteem.

Initiatives are strengths-based and skills-building, supporting self-discovery of educational and vocational opportunities that provide a path to more positive life and health outcomes for Indigenous youth, whether they remain in their home communities or venture beyond them for academics or employment.

CLIMATE ACTION & LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS
(including Food Forests)

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CFTC collaborates on programs that bring Indigenous ways of knowing together with Western practices to unleash innovations that address the biggest existential threat of our time – climate change – and its impacts on agriculture, livelihoods, food security, Indigenous peoples’ health, and the sustainability of the lands and waters on which we all depend.

You can help support strategies that focus on:

  • Technological innovations that increase food production in an environmentally responsible way
  • Indigenous-led, holistic approaches to climate action, land and water stewardship
  • Local food systems transformation and building sustainable ecosystems: e.g., establishing food forests, rewilding and “green-spacing”, agriculture and horticulture programs that increase availability of and access to fresh, culturally-appropriate food
  • Land-based education, led by Knowledge Keepers and Elders, that facilitates inter-generational knowledge transfer and sharing/learning traditional teachings and practices, bridging the loss of Indigenous ways of knowing that has occurred because of colonization
  • Food sharing and nutrition education focused on traditional food and medicine growing and gathering.

Hearing from communities

About their most significant change
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Jennifer
One of the biggest changes this year is people’s involvement in community activities. We re-started our community garden and planted 1,200 potato plants and 600 onion sets. We’ve also had people just come to the garden and weed when they want to be outside. It’s an exciting change from the pandemic!
JENNIFER, BEARDY’S & OKEMASIS’ CREE NATION
Grayce
I think it is important that we have meals at school because some kids may not have access to healthy meals at home. In order for your body to feel right and your brain to be healthy, you need to fuel it with healthy food to learn.
GRAYCE, NATOAGENEG (EEL GROUND FIRST NATION)
Dee
This was the silver lining to COVID, people started to think about food security and sustainability. It’s getting back to the old ways, the traditional ways, looking at what foods we have available to us in the community. We are excited to see full community participation. It started with our young people.
DEE, COORDINATOR HEALTHY LIVING PROGRAM, NEYAASHIINIGMIING
Jada
In our culture, we need our foods. Hunting, gardening. When we go on hunting trips, I just love seeing us all getting involved in everything. Seeing my grandparents so happy. Because us younger kids are doing what they used to do when they were younger. Traditions.
JADA, BIRCH NARROWS (TURNOR LAKE) DENE NATION
Marcus
We teach our young ones how to process the food and where it comes from. Being out on the land is education and I think it’s a valuable education. It’s going to stick with them and they’re going to share this. That’s the mission: to keep our culture alive and to share our knowledge.
MARCUS, CHIEF, RED ROCK INDIAN BAND
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    Indigenous Charity Canada: Map of Canada showing the indigenous communities where we work

    Community Partners

    DELIVERING COMMUNITY-LED RESULTS TOGETHER
    CFTC partners with the following 27 Indigenous communities:
    • Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation, SK
    • Atikameg (Whitefish Lake First Nation), AB
    • Beardy's & Okemasis' Cree Nation, SK
    • Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, ON
    • Birch Narrows Dene Nation, SK
    • Clearwater River Dene Nation, SK
    • Deer Lake First Nation, ON
    • Elsipogtog First Nation, NB
    • Esgenoôpetitj First Nation, NB
    • Garden Hill First Nation, MB
    • Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation, NWT
    • Montreal Lake Cree Nation, SK
    • Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, SK
    • Natoaganeg First Nation (Eel Ground First Nation), NB
    • Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation - Mah-Sos)
    • Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation - Perth-Andover)
    • Neyaashiinigmiing (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation), ON
    • O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation, MB
    • Red Rock First Nation, ON
    • Saddle Lake Boys and Girls Club, AB
    • Sambaa K'e First Nation, NWT
    • Sayisi Dene First Nation (Tadoule Lake), MB
    • Stein Valley, BC
    • Thompson Boys and Girls Club, MB
    • Tulita, NWT
    • Wasagamack, MB
    • Waywayseecappo, MB

    The Team & Approach

    Working Towards Truth & Reconciliation

    We believe that decolonization, anti-racism, reconciliation, and self-determination aims are all better achieved working in equitable, meaningful partnerships such as those built via CFTC’s participatory, community-led approach to programming.

    As a settler organization, CFTC recognizes our own privilege and the need to go beyond good intentions. Our Indigenous Programs team is an essential link between the community's self-identified development priorities and the resources available to make them happen.

    About Us

    Children Canadian Feed The Children is an independent, secular development agency with over 35-years experience feeding children.

    We take a community-led approach to improving food security in the communities where we work.

    We're an awarding-winning, 5-star rated charity that envisions a world where children thrive free from hunger and poverty.

    Imagine Canada Accreditation logo
    2023 Top 100 Rated Charities logo
    Better Business Bureau logo
    2023 5-star rating logo
    TD Ready Commitment 2020 Winner

    “I donate to Canadian Feed The Children because children should not be hungry. It’s up to us to make sure this doesn’t happen.”

    - Robyn

    Frequently asked questions

    Why is there food insecurity in Canada?

    According to Statistics Canada, food insecurity affects 1.15 million -- or one in six -- Canadian children under age 18. That number has been on the rise since 2007.

    Household food insecurity is strongly linked to poverty in Canada. Seventy per cent of households who rely on social assistance in Canada are food insecure. But it also greatly affects a significant portion of the Canadian workforce. Sixty per cent of food-insecure households rely on wages and salaries as their main source of income. Families working low-wage jobs simply can't earn enough to put good food on the table.

    Why are Indigenous communities hit harder by food insecurity?

    It is estimated that 78 per cent of Indigenous households have difficulty putting enough food on the table.

    Indigenous communities in Canada face significant and ongoing challenges since European colonizers arrived on Indigenous territories. The loss of land rights, outlawing of Indigenous practices and languages, and discrimination towards Indigenous people have perpetuated a food insecurity crisis with serious implications for health and well-being.

    The legacy of residential schools, where children were taken forcibly from their homes, is just one example of the deliberate destruction of Indigenous culture, language and identity.

    These injustices have been compounded by the ongoing loss of rights to traditional territories and resources, and public opinion, laws and regulations that continue to make engaging in traditional practices difficult, and put significant pressure on Indigenous hunting and fishing.

    With the loss of traditional food access and practices, many Indigenous families turn to commercial grocery stores where they are often met with high prices for nutritious food, particularly in remote areas. Without significant economic opportunity, or benefit from traditional territories’ natural resources, the cycle of poverty and food insecurity is difficult to overcome.

    What is CFTC doing to increase food security for Indigenous communities?

    Canadian Feed The Children has been working with partner Indigenous communities across Canada for almost 30 years. We have long standing partnerships with 27 Indigenous communities in Canada. Our Indigenous partners take the lead on programming and regularly work together towards increasing food security, community resilience and traditional knowledge through land-based education, ancestral gathering methods and community food work.

    Where will my donation go?

    When you donate to Indigenous Communities in Canada, funds are distributed to our Indigenous partners to those who need it most. Your donation will be used towards good food boxes that deliver healthy food to households and ensure children have enough to eat. As well, donations will be used to support local initiatives such as community gardens and traditional fishing and hunting, which supplement food supplies during these difficult times. Donations will also go towards helping our partners provide the high demand of school breakfasts and lunches.

    What are my payment options?

    You can make an online donation to CFTC using MasterCard, Visa, American Express or PayPal. You can also donate by calling 1-800-387-1221 between 9am – 5pm EST, Monday to Friday.

    Can I 'designate' my donation to a specific country?

    Yes. The online donation form gives you the option to designate your donation to one of our five countries of operation in Bolivia, Canada, Ethiopia, Ghana or Uganda.

    How can I stay up-to-date on the impact of my donation?

    We invite you to listen to our new podcast, First Comes Food, where we explore the surprising ways communities are feeding children and families in the face of a global food crisis. Donors also receive our monthly eNewsletter highlighting the latest success stories ‘from the field’. You can also come online whenever you like to read our blog or download donor publications.

    Will I receive a tax receipt for my charity donation?

    Yes, all charity donations to CFTC are tax receipted. When you donate online, you will receive an immediate charitable tax receipt in PDF format by email. When you donate by phone, you can choose to receive an electronic receipt or have one mailed to you, usually within two weeks. Canadian Feed The Children’s charitable registration number is 11883 0983 RR0001. See the Government of Canada’s policy statement for charitable tax receipts for more information about charity tax receipts.

    Is Canadian Feed The Children affiliated with a specific religion?

    Canadian Feed The Children has no religious affiliation. While we may work with local partners who are affiliated with a specific religion, we are dedicated to helping children regardless of their race, religion or gender.

    Does Canadian Feed The Children belong to a 'parent' organization?

    Canadian Feed The Children was founded in Canada in 1986 as an independent international development agency and we still remain that way today.

    CONTACT US

    901-2 Lansing Square
    Toronto, ON M2J 4P8 Canada

    1-800-387-1221 or 416-757-1220

    [email protected]