A Heritage of Compassion, Vision & a Call for Justice
Judy Nyback Louis knows where her roots find their sustainance: on the correction line, just east of Camrose. She recognizes her fortune, having compassionate, visionary parents: Rita and Ken Nyback, who set a consistent example of caring and community for their children.
Judy's father, Ken, was moved deeply, when he saw a the struggle of a health challenged Camrose county neighbour. This man had to travel to Edmonton every other day for Dialysis, which put a huge strain on his health, his family, and their finances. Ken responded by mobilizing his family, and others, to fundraise for closer Dialysis facilities. Judy remembers the Kidney Foundation simply always being a part of her family's life, and conscience. Why? Simply because her father saw a need, and fought to meet it. It didn't matter that the need was not within his immediate household. By his actions, Mr. Nyback proved, for his children, that love had no boundaries, and intention must flow into action.
The family walked out this conviction again, early in Judy's life, when they chose to open their arms to children of all cultures and biological background. Unknowingly, an openness to adopting from outside of their own culture saw them become a participant in the 60's scoop, where many indigenous children where taken out of their homes, to be placed in those of the white, middle class. The peculiarly amazing thing about the Nyback family though, is that they were about to reap what they had sown, in the best possible way. Their welcoming home lead to another welcome home, returning the same gift.
Rita Nyback held cultural identity in high regard. She did not assume that her much loved children, needed to be rubber stamped with the same culture, in order to be loved, known, and welcomed as family. She believed in the importance of fostering an awareness of each child's individual foundations, and then allowing them, in their awareness, to embrace and explore all sides of themselves, past, present, and future, secure in their family's love and acceptance. It was important to Rita then, that she provide her children with knowledge to equip their construction of a sense of self. Thanks to then Camrose MLA Gordon Stromberg making introductions, one group of open hearts found another, when the Nyback met the Natchewaysis family, renamed Louis, (the first name of the oldest patriarch) of Maskwacis; (formerly known as Hobbema).
Together, the families have fostered an authentic, deeply meaningful connection. So much so, that the Louis' performed a ceremonial adoption, accepting Judy into their family, as one of their own. Judy, then, stands in the unique position of having two sets of parents and siblings who have spoken into her life. Fortunately for the world around her, "she's not been selfish with what has been shared".
You will want to listen to Judy Louis open up about the roots, community, & foresight, she has surrounded herself with, by clicking on the box below:
Rural Roots: Global Impact
Rita Nyback, pictured above, believed that her life was fully emcompassed by one square mile, the ground between her home, her school, her church, and her family. Born in the depression, and losing her father to the Second World War, Rita knew hardship. Neccessity saw her siblings moved to various aunts and uncles, to keep mouths fed. By the time she reached highschool, she was supporting herself. She married at 18, and promptly began her family, which included four biological children, and five adopted. Rita demonstrated a colossal amount of determination and forethought. Maybe it was her capacity to dance in adversity, that gave her the confidence to welcome others to her side. By the time she passed away in February of 2015, her deep rural roots had become a foundation for Global impact.
The trunk pictured above is lovingly displayed in the Louis home. It cradles translated collections of information and physical artifacts from generations passed. Interestingly enough, once again, the connection between the Nyback's and the Louis' had to come together, to see the fullest impact. The papers seen above were kept by Rita Nyback all of her days. When her children found them in their mother's possession after her passing, their significance was vieled, being in another language. It wasn't until Roy and Judy were invited to Roy's adopted brother, another of Scandinavian decent, that the family records were translated.The prominent collection is a visible proclamation of the care and pride that both heritages enjoy, each fostering a clear sense of identity and roots. Click on the button "Community, Connection, Kindness" at the bottom of the page to hear more!
Every glance around the home created by Judy and Roy, offers a testament to the rich and eclectic lives they have chosen to create.
Below, Judy Louis is pictured in her living room.
The photo below perfectly represents the eclectic beauty of the Louis home and life. You'll see a purposeful combining of cultures at every turn. The axe below belonged to one of the signatures of Treaty 6, Ahtahkakoop, or Star Blanket. One can only imagine that the original owner would smile at the spears placement, amidst sacred artifacts from multiple foundations.
A Heritage of Beauty:
It's been said that Rita Nyback wished for all of the world to experience the richness of rural living , waking every morning, to vistas of flowers, nature's crown. Her wish has most definately come to fruition for her daughter, Judy, thanks to the loving care put into their acreage. For years and years, the home won numerous gardening awards. Today, the gardens may be receding slightly, but the heritage of beauty remains.
The rock garden below holds bolders from every place Judy has called home, collected lovingly now, into one monument.
A White Buffalo:
Judy Louis has chosen to live out her passions. Her call for justice has never been quieted. Her quiet peaceful acceptance, and the value she celebrates in every person blessed to cross her paths, has lead to a life of great magnitude. A meaningful 17 year teaching and administrative career, driven by her passion for children, soon flourished to encompass their families as well, in her seven year role as First Nations, Metis, and Intuit Cultural Resources Co-ordinator for Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools. She has been involved with the Alberta Government, in curriculum development, both for students, and pre-service teachers. She and her husband Roy, are the only civilian recognized trainers for RCMP, as they passionately engage in cross cultural training for Canadian police. Click on the box below, to hear Judy share more on how the roots, set firmly on the Correction Line of Camrose County, now flourish on a national and world wide scale.
Path to Reconciliation:
For a more in depth look at the evolution of some of the decisions made early on, by Rita Nyback, to embrace other cultures, and how her choices have impacted the world today, please click on the button below.