Families celebrate Indigenous motherhood at Manitoba Museum

A sold-out tour at the Manitoba Museum brought people downtown to learn about traditional motherhood this weekend.

From Talk to Table: Indigenous Motherhood Tour walked people through Indigenous parenting teachings, showcasing items Indigenous mothers have used to raise their children.

Ezarah Ewanchuk joined her mother Sherli on the tour. Ezarah is a teacher in Fisher River, and noticed similarities between items on the tour and a Mother’s Day craft she made with her students.

“Toy-size tikinagan and moss bag – cradle board,” Ezarah said. “I never really thought of those things as kids toys before the miniature versions.”

 Shirli said her mother learned about traditional motherhood, passing it down to her.

“My mom went to residential school, (Ezarah’s) granny,” Sherli said. “And we’ve heard the stories about they weren’t held, they weren’t loved, they weren’t taught how to parent.”

Tashina Houle-Schlup, the head of Manitoba Museum’s Indigenous Programming & Engagement, says she put the tour together with the help of her mother.

“It was really amazing, felt really special,” Houle-Schlup said. “I’d call up my mom and ask her questions too like ‘how do we do this, how do we do that, what is this used for?'”

Houle-schlup is planning to take her mother on the tour.

“Very grateful to her for her knowledge and how she raised my brother and I, because we were very fortunate to have a childhood with our traditions.”

Shirli says the traditional mothering teachings will need to be shared.

“Bring together that right community. The midwives, the doulas, the grannies, aunties. All of the ones to put that circle back together,” she said.

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