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Loving our mother

Sea to Sky mums celebrate Mother's Day and Mother Earth with their children

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Royal says she encouraged Tehya to "enjoy that process of making a relationship with Mother Earth and finding out all the intricacies that she can of how we are connected to our Mother."

She has extended her influence from her own daughters to the community at large, through her involvement in rites of passage ceremonies, organized in conjunction with the Squamish Nation.

Describing it as a "coming of age" for young women, for the duration of three days activities are held for the youth and their mothers, grandmothers and extended family members.

"It's about drawing upon Mother Nature as our mother and looking to nature for the answers as we change and evolve through our process of life, birth, puberty, adulthood, giving birth, old age and death," Royal explained.

Puberty involves transformation, she continued, which can often be accompanied by some trepidation or anxiety, yet she says that through the activities, the young women become more confident about the changes happening to their bodies.

"I always find that they really respond so deeply and powerfully and they become my teachers," said Royal.

"It's amazing how some of these young women are now paving the way for the future for the younger ones," she said.

"Instead of being worried about changes to their bodies, they know there is a special event and ceremony. It's special and sacred and they are joining a collective group of women."

Her relationship with her own daughters has grown deeper as a result of regular time in nature together.

"There's this larger mother that takes care of us and I believe true wisdom comes from observation and dialogue with nature," Royal explained. "So we have these lovely profound and fun conversations as we go through the woods, or even silences where we are inspired by the way a rain drop sits on a leaf or a beautiful frost pattern on a log. I think that kind of connection is deep."