Hi! My name is Hayden Reeve!
You might recognize my last name as I am the daughter of one of the Mamas! I am going to tell you about my experience at YouthWrite®. For a little introduction, it is a non-profit organization with camps for children who love to write. There is also a separate camp for adults who also enjoy writing! Today though, we are going to be discussing the camp for, well, youth!
Something that I think is quite important and an absolutely excellent characteristic about YouthWrite is the fact that they have a figuratively speaking, bubble type of deal around them.
I’m Teneil Whiskeyjack. I am originally from Saddle Lake Cree Nation and a mother of 2. My daughter is 17 and my son is 7, both at different stages in their lives. As a single mother and working artist, the demands of career, life and our own autonomy in systems that can make us feel depleted, it can be challenging to find the balance in it all. The expectations we put on our ourselves as mothers, always asking “am I doing this right?” Truth is, there is no manual to parenting and parenting looks different for many in terms of culture, values, family traditions and beliefs. Becoming a mother for the first time at such a young age, I admittedly didn’t know myself well enough to give reverence to a tender, compassionate, and patient relationship that I needed within myself. As time moved forward, I wanted to find peace in my journey and the grounding my children and I needed and deserved. I looked at the both of them and wanted them to see a mom that was vibrant, strong, present and healthy. As women, we are taught to put others before ourselves, leaving no room for our own curiosities, or relationships to our bodies and spirit. Going back to my culture and ceremony as an Indigenous woman meant going back to land-based practices, asking myself what it means to me to be a nehiyaw iskwew (cree woman) today, learning to ask for help within safe spaces of community and kin and reminding myself that parenting is one of the most sacred responsibilities we carry as life givers. I believe our children choose us to be their parents before they are born.
I was an artist growing up. I loved to tell stories in various ways. I took a step back from creating all together for many years and what was once my solace, was no longer existent as I allowed myself to live for other’s expectations of me, in the confines of societal pressures, and a life from the choices I made that wasn’t in alignment to my truth. I doubted my aspirations and capabilities until there came a shifting cycle in my womanhood where I wanted to gain deeper insight to who I was and why I walked in footsteps that no longer resonated with me or my heart.
SkirtsAfire Festival in Edmonton is self-described as “diverse, inclusive and daring”, guaranteeing there’s something for everyone at their 10th anniversary festival, running March 3-13 in Old Strathcona. With the ever-changing pandemic climate we’re all navigating, there is one thing for certain – SkirtsAfire will offer 10 days of engaging and entertaining performances and experiences!
We have taken in their MainStage Productions since 2017 as well as Opening Night Parties, and of course, the fantastic SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition. Featuring the work of women and non-binary folks in the arts in Edmonton – MARCH 3-13, 2022. Check out SkirtsAfire, experiencing theatre, visual art, design, music, comedy, and more.
Where to get your Charcuterie Boards and Charcuterie Boxes In Alberta
It’s going to be the summer of the picnic, and there’s no better (or fancier) way to picnic than a charcuterie in Alberta. Picture yourself on a hike in the mountains, your favourite hill, in a botanical garden, or even on a pasture (see Open Farm Days in August). Here’s where you can grab a charcuterie “to go” across the province.
Bow Valley (Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise, Exshaw, and Kananaskis)
Banff Graze Co.
Banff Graze Co. is great for those that live in the area, but also a terrific idea if you’re travelling to the Bow Valley and want to have something special for your lunch hike, or try a charcuterie board instead of eating at a restaurant while you’re in town.
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I decided we needed to get out and do something as a family, and I knew from friends that you book time slots at the U of A Botanic Garden, so it would be COVID Friendly. Hubs and I checked the weather, booked it on a day when the weather was supposed to be great and then my husband let me know he’d actually never been. The guy grew up in Edmonton but hadn’t ever been to the gardens so I was excited. I myself haven’t been since the Aga Khan garden opened – doubly excited.
We had to wear masks throughout the whole garden, which was understandable.
My kids love the Japanese Garden so we always go there first, trying to spot the coy fish.
For those of you familiar with the Devon River Valley Trail in Voyageur Park, right on. For those of you who don’t, go. Especially if you have early bird kids, or if you are one!
A friend and I went on a Saturday morning, met at 530AM in the parking lot, and by golly, nary a soul in sight. We didn’t run into one person on the path and upon returning to our vehicle, there were just a few fellas fishing under the bridge.
There are a few fire pits with picnic tables along the river that would just be amazing with the fam jam and the “beachy” part we came across would entertain my kids for HOURS just throwing rocks in. Didn’t bring them this time – mama needed a break but next time!
Promises of a waterfall, a creek, a canyon, and candy are the things that get my kids hiking. Here are 11 family-friendly waterfall hikes so, Mamas load up your playlist with TLC and start the car.
A short walk from the parking lot along Miette Road.
This popular family hike is a choose your own adventure. From a short hike; viewing the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bridge. Or for a longer less traveled route park at the sixth bridge and walk the entire canyon in reverse order to the first bridge, a 7 km return hike.
30 km south of the Jasper townsite go early or late to miss the crowds. If you have the time walk down the stairs to the base of the Athabasca River and check out the inukshuks.
55 km south of Jasper check out Upper & Lower Sunwapta Falls. Short on time, the Upper Falls are a short walk from the parking lot. The lower Sunwapta Falls is a 3.2 km return hike.
Keep driving south on the Icefields Highway (93) to hike this 3.2 km return trail. The trail initially runs parallel to the highway before turning left to follow a narrow canyon where you view a series of waterfalls before ending at Stanley Falls. A smaller version of Maligne Canyon, but with no railing so stay safe. Beauty Creek to Stanley Falls parking lot is a small pullout approximately 88 km south of Jasper on the north side of Highway 93. You may have to drive past the pullout until you can safely turn around depending on the direction you are driving.
This Friday, April 30th, join Firefly Theatre & Circus for their Bread and Circus fundraiser!
I am that mom. While we all used to have adventures, tips, and fun stuff to share with you, this pandemic has me at a loss.
My family doesn’t go anywhere.
The most exciting thing we’ve done in the last year is a walk in the River Valley, right after that little dump of snow. It was magical, and our COVID pup Missy enjoyed herself immensely. My poor daughter had a hard time getting back up these stairs, cause, well, we don’t do anything!
And we checked out one of the Edmonton swings, just you know, for something to do on the weekend.
I don’t have the ambition or drive to plan anything.
My kids spend A LOT of time on their devices. Most of the time it is connected to their friends via Kids Messenger while playing games, and this is essentially their socialization outside of school so I’m not taking that away from them. I want to run away completely. The mountains, the ocean, anywhere but here. But hubs and I both work, and we need to work and we are lucky to work. And we don’t really have anywhere to escape to. I also am very cheap and don’t want to spend money….cause maybe if I save it, when this is all over we can go somewhere so far away and cool, it’s like COVID was just a blip.