Mary takes children out for a naturewalk

Thank you for helping create a world for all ages

“Solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development. We must collaborate to foster successful and equitable intergenerational relations and partnerships to ensure 'no one is left behind.' ”
United Nations

This is the focus of International Youth Day 2022, which we celebrate on August 12. The official theme this year is "Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a world for all ages."

Intergenerational solidarity is a theme we often see in our partner communities. When children and youth learn from and work with their elders, it strengthens bonds, encourages respect, and more often than not facilitates healing.

In this photo series, see this intergenerational learning in action through programs supported by Canadian Feed The Children donors. This post includes photos from the Transformations: Stories of Partnership, Resilience and Positive Change photojournalism initiative, created in partnership with Allan Lissner and OCIC.

Indigenous artist Boshdayosgaykwe shares her Quillwork skills in a workshop with students, community members and community health workers. 

In Neyaashiinigmiing, Boshdayosgaykwe and her mother are the two remaining knowledge-holders of Quillwork in her community. Quillwork is a traditional art form that uses natural materials such as porcupine quills and sweetgrass to create textiles or to embellish birchbark, and Boshdayosgaykwe shares this knowledge with Indigenous peoples in a variety of ways, as a means of transmitting traditional arts and to build community.

Photo: Allan Lissner/OCIC 

Miptoon, a Neyaashiinigmiing Elder, with some students. 

Miptoon (Councillor Tony Chegahno), a respected Elder and Species at Risk Coordinator in Neyaashiinigmiing, often leads students on nature walks to introduce them to local plants, medicines and animals.

Photo: Allan Lissner/OCIC  

Mary leads some of her students on a nature walk, which happens rain, shine or snow!

In Eel Ground First Nation, Mary takes students to the Forest Classroom outside of their school to explore the outdoors every day, rain or shine. She says, you need to know what it feels like to be cold or to be wet to understand that you must protect yourself from the seasons.She believes that children also build a stronger connection to the land when they play outside and learn from the outdoors.

Photo: Allan Lissner/OCIC  

Patty* (left) shares a smile with her granddaughter Robyn* after a community land-based learning event.

Robyn lives with her kokum (grandmother) in Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. The community works together, Elders with youth and children, so that important traditions, language and life skills survive and are passed on. 

Robyn’s grandmother, Patty, celebrates the possibilities when the children learn about the life of their own people; for example, how Robyn is learning the importance of honouring the land and about the food the land gives to the people. The community garden is a perfect example of this; each seed they plant, water and care for is a symbol of their respect for the land.

*names changed by request 

Luke enjoying the outdoors in Neyaashiinigmiing. Luke loves learning on the land and teaching others what he has learned - including his Elders.

12-year-old Luke loves spending time on the land surrounding his home in Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation (Neyaashiinigmiing). He enjoys hunting, trapping, and doing carpentry projects with his father. 

Knowledge sharing is key to intergenerational learning - not just from Elders to children, but often the other way around. For example, Luke is great at fishing and filleting, and teaches other adults how to do it. He also teaches his peers how to set up, bait and hide traps.  

He says, “Everyone is a knowledge holder, no matter how old you are.”  

All Indigenous children deserve opportunities like this, and we can all do our part to support. Because of the generosity of people like you, we can help to ensure that Indigenous children and youth continue to have opportunities to learn from the adults and elders in their lives. 

Thank you for working in partnership in the spirit of reconciliation to strengthen Indigenous families and communities. You’re helping to feed children, empower communities and change lives. 

Help Change the Future for Children

Choose one of the donation options below to change the future for children in Canada and around the world.

Give a Donation icon

Give a Donation

Give a one-time or monthly donation and join a global community in the fight against child hunger.

Donate Today
Give a Gift icon

Give a Gift

Give a tangible gift such as a goat, community garden, farming tools or beekeeping to help families become food secure.

Shop Gifts

Become a Leadership Supporter

By donating $1,000 or more you can help uplift communities by investing in key program areas.

Leadership Giving
Sponsor a child icon

Sponsor a Child

Help provide a child with all the basics they need to get a good education and grow up healthy.

Sponsor a Child

Every donation counts. Give as little as $10 and join a global community of people determined to end child hunger.

Related Stories