On June 23, 2006 after a long battle with Leukemia my mother Joyce
lost her life and started her westward journey. She was an inspiration and a guidence to all of us at A.I.I.A. and will
be deeply missed. Born on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in North Dakota, she graduated from Minot State
University and moved here in the early 70's with me and my father, Russ. In 1973 my brother Patrick was born
and we resided in the Toledo area ever since. She also leaves behind two grandchildren whom she adored, Olivia
and Joseph. She continues to be a strong influence in our family and in the indian community.
Below is a poem in which she was awarded 2nd place in the "Roots
of Diversity Multicultural Arts Show"
Walk Beside Me
You are the warrior
and the hunter and I am the humble power behind the spear who will always guide your shield to defend you. And you are
the sister I met near the stream. We sat on the rocks facing the morning sun and cleansed our garments together.
When you look into my soul, you will find the existence of a very quiet and gentle spirit. Listen to my footsteps.
If you hear the sound of refined pebbles falling softly on Mother Earth, it is I. My spirit can always be found traveling
north and south. I follow Grandfather and travel the red road. The wind blows strong, but my steps never falter, as
the sacred pipe protects me. Come--Walk beside me. Together we have the power to change the world. For I
am not your enemy, I am your strength
Joyce "Snowfeather" Mahaney