Mother’s Day will soon be upon us. I know some people say every day is Mother’s Day but it is nice to have one day a year that you can make extra special for them.
I know many First Nation leaders have pointed this out and have said that the women are the heart of our culture. They are the ones who bring new life and nurture that life during it’s formative years as many men were hunters and trappers and were away. It was up to the women to begin the first teachings that a young person would have.
A new life was a celebration and all participated in it joyously but it was the mothers who made that celebration possible.
Through the years of my life I have learned many things from my mother. Some were simple, such as teaching us to use a toilet properly instead of my diapers or the use of a cup, spoon, fork and knife. Those skills we all take for granted but someone taught use them and that someone was our mothers.
As we grew older they taught us manners and how to behave around others. Sometimes dad would pitch in but mothers always reinforced whatever was taught and added to it considerably. They were and usually still are our role models. I know mine is. I was never so proud of her as when she went back to school and graduated with a bachelor degree in teaching English as a Second Language. She was 50 years old at the time. Since then she has become a vice-principal in Mistissini. I was so happy and proud when that that happened. It showed me that I could still learn from her. I believe she taught me one of the most important lessons I will ever learn. It is never too late to learn, to strive and to follow through so that a dream may become reality and age does not matter. I only hope I can live up to her example.
In all cultures mothers are a source of pride, devotion and honour. If you want to be foolish and test this out just go up to any member of any culture and insult his or her mother. It is one of the few times we always l seem to lose our cool. Like I said, our mother is a role model for us and we have rightly placed her on a pedestal.
Of course being on that pedestal is hard work – as is picking up after us, cooking for us, teaching us, comforting us, loving us and protecting us.
So once a year at minimum we should honour our mothers and go out of our way to make their lives easier.
Since my mom’s turning 60 this year I thought I would reprint one of her first, and easily my favorite, story that she wrote and sent into the Nation. It is a story of how it used to be.
I am sure your parents or grandparents ! have the same types of stories and maybe on Mother’s Day you could ask for theirs. It is a piece of family history that you can pass on to future generations about Cree mothers.