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  The Bride  
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The Bride to Be
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Watch me,
as I balance myself
on this man made fence
that separates us.
I almost fell a few times,
and wished I did.
Our children will live on both sides if they choose,
and I will encourage them so.
If you see me crying,
tell me everything is good
and put your cheek against mine.
This fence I sit upon
will get old and eventually fall apart.
Until then, I'll pray for patience....

The Bride To Be is a painting which is representative of my mother and how difficult it was for her to marry into white culture, coming right off the reserve. She had to walk away from her parents and family and the comfort of being around her own people. She had a lot of food allergies and had to get used to eating white man’s diet, and basically it took her many years to get used to the changes.

I remember her always being so sad, missing her family. She was used to being around a lot of relatives and friends all day and night, then to being around only my father, my sister and me was a very lonely and sad time for her, even though she tried very hard to live on both sides of the cultures. She struggled with a lot of racism, which she tried her best to shield us from, but she internalized a lot of the pain and held it.

As a bride, she dressed in a very beautiful English white lace dress, but told me as a child that she felt she was betraying her culture when she was wearing this dress, and as beautiful as it was, she felt First Nations on the inside. I did this piece thinking that of what she would have looked like, and her feelings, had she been wearing her own cultural wedding dress. The woman in the painting wearing pearls, just as my mom wore pearls, and I was thinking of the sadness that she always tried to explain to me of walking away from her culture when she married my father, and that’s what this piece is basically about.

About the Original
Medium: Acrylic on Paper / Image Size: 17" x 24 " / Created: August 2003
Availability: Sold