Intergenerational and inclusive approaches to participation in communities’ dialogue

The voices and perspectives of youth must be acknowledged as well as those of adults and Elders to ensure the whole community is part of the dialogue. Youth participated in the development of community-based land management plans and the Pimachiowin Aki nomination dossier. We will need the youth to understand and carry on this work after the Elders are gone. For this, presentations and dialogue sessions with Elders took place at community schools and youth forums. The communities carry out ongoing Elders and Youth Anishinaabe Language, Knowledge and Lands Teaching camps to ensure children and youth understand the importance of the land and continue to support this work in the future. These camps are held outside the communities, throughout the summer.

In parallel, Pimachiowin Aki Corporation held two regional women’s forums:  the Pimachiowin Aki Women’s Forum on January 18, 2017, and the Ikwewak Gikendasowinan on January 23, 2018 where Elders and young women participated in making recommendations to the Pimachiowin Aki partners which were included in the nomination dossier. Ongoing participation and leadership of women in governance is an important feature of the site management framework.

  • Recognizing the importance of facilitating interactions between Elders and youth in preserving the Anishinaabe way of life and language, the boreal shield landscape, and the interdependence of culture and nature.   
  • Funds to facilitate meetings of community-based land working groups and land-based learning opportunities. 
  • Facilitating the participation of youth and women from the beginning is crucial for success. Elders and Youth dialogue is essential for the ongoing success of the communities’ efforts to protect Ancestral Lands, and Pimachiowin Aki, now and in the future. However, at times during the land management and planning and nomination processes when we had time or budget constraints we left our youth engagement out. That was our mistake, and we are now busy making sure that we focus on youth engagement. 
  • The Corporation continuously supports experiential opportunities for youth in purposeful, land-based activities, emphasizing that respectful behaviour is required for survival, and ensures that local and regional schools are provided with information and resources to incorporate the cultural, natural, and educational values represented by Pimachiowin Aki into their curricula.
  • Pimachiowin Aki First Nations Guardians Program ensures that the intergenerational dialogue continues.