Nikawiy Mena Awasis

Mother and Child

In the Cree language, nikawiy means "mother" and awasis means "child." This painting is from a short small series I am working on about the mother and child. The series stems from my own personal healing journey of reconnecting with my mother in order for me to reconnect with my teenage daugther.
Image
Angela Quinny
Nikawiy Mena Awasis | 8x10" acrylic January 2009 View Larger >

On my healing journey, I realized the disconnection with my mother began way before I was born. It began with my great grandmother, who was sent to a residential school.

She was stolen from her mother like my mother was, stripped of her culture, language and family. Shame, guilt, pain, hurt, and anger filled their bodies and the next generation inherited this trauma. Many mothers didn't learn how to be mothers, and many children didn't receive their mother's love and affection.

I began my healing journey by looking into my mother's eyes and telling her, "You are my mother, I am your daughter. You gave me life and you are the righful mother for me."

Tears glided down her brown cheeks. She smiled and said, "Yes, I am." Now I am beginning to really understand her, and I am blessed to have her as my mother.


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