My mom had me when she was 17, so she didn't get to finish high school until after I was born. Even though it must not have been easy to go back to school with a baby, she did. She has continued her education throughout my whole life, all while raising five kids and often working at the same time.
My mother taught us not only the value of hard work but also of sacrifice since we knew that her efforts were not just for her but for all of us — her family. I'm so proud of her and grateful that she taught me that learning is a life-long endeavour.
What did you learn from your mom? CBC Aboriginal put the word out — and here are some of the amazing replies and photos you shared with us.
Happy Mother's Day.
I hand-stitch moccasins and mukluks for friends, and especially walking out shoes for their newborns.
Nadya Kwandibens: I've had many mothers having grown up in foster care. My twin brother, older sister, and I were "lost" in the foster care system for many years. My mother's name is Gina, and when we were united with our family I felt so happy and proud, knowing that this beautiful woman was my real mom.
Over the years as I grew older she taught me about resiliency and that no matter what happens, you have push through the tough situations and stay true to who you are, to stay true to your feelings. She lives in Ottawa now and I'm always travelling a lot, but wherever she moves to I always visit and it's like we never parted ways.
Gizhawenimin nimaamaa! xxoo
“Fight your own battles,” she said. But one of a multitude of teachings. Thanks, Mom.
Cris Derksen: My mom is definitely my biggest fan and support. She listened to me when I was a very young child asking about music lessons and she gave up her car fund to buy me a piano when I was five. She taught me that life was in fact my own oyster and believed in my dreams before I could conceive them as a possibility. My mother taught me about undying love and how to persevere through every mountain and valley our life takes us on. Also I learned through my mother's hard work how lucky I am to have a job that can sometimes feel like a vacation!
She has deep desire to empower her community and educate the masses on the Residential School System and the inter-generational effects of it. Her laugh is infectious and she is truly the heart of her family. If you've ever been lucky enough to work with her, or be taught by her, you know you're a better person for it.
Waubgeshig Rice: My mother, Mona, has taught me many extremely invaluable lessons in my life. One of the lessons I cherish the most is to be respectful and understanding of others. She always taught me to be tolerant and kind, and I try to carry myself that way every day. As a young Canadian woman from small town Ontario, she moved to an Anishinaabe community after marrying my father in order to raise their forthcoming sons in the culture. It was a big step for her, and I've always admired her for that. She's always been one of the biggest proponents of Anishinaabe culture and Indigenous issues. Her compassionate perspective brightens the lives of many, and I will be forever grateful that she's my mom.
Submissions have been edited for length.