Mothers are being celebrated on Sunday but two local moms got some early recognition.
Charmaine Big Sorrel Horse and Himani Goyal each received a Because Mothers Matter Award at the Glencoe Club in Calgary on Thursday, recognizing exceptional women who have contributed to their communities.
The awards are presented annually by the Mothers Matter Centre, a national organization which offers the HIPPY — Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters — program.
Big Sorrel Horse — a mother of five children between the ages of three and eight and a member of the Blood Reserve in the Kainai Nation — said the program offered her quality time with her children while she was studying to complete her GED.
“I was always in school, and I never had the time to be at home with them, to teach them. So it helped me with their strengths,” she said. “Now that they’re in school, I really see that this program really helped them with their education and their development.”
It also helped her be a better mom.
“I know where their strengths and their weaknesses are in their schoolwork,” she said. “I know there’s days where they don’t want to sit there … but sometimes they do … because they love what they’re doing.”
Structure and support
Goyal — a physiotherapist — came to Canada from India with her daughter in 2010, and said the HIPPY program offered her much needed structure and support.
“A home visitor used to come to the house with the books and a week-long curriculum activities set out for the kids, but they would instruct me as a mother to work with my child,” said Goyal. “It empowered me, it provided me strategies when my mind was busy struggling to survive in Canada in my early months.”
Goyal has since become a home visitor with the program, working with newcomers to Canada and those learning English.
“It’s very rewarding. I could give back something the community,” she said.
And Big Sorrel Horse says she has plans to become a home visitor as well.
The Mothers Matter Centre also honours a prominent Canadian mother each year and this year’s nominee was Alberta Lt.-Gov. Lois. E Mitchell.
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Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area. It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary, generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road). Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.
Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016, Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.
Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton. The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.