Stepping Into Motherhood: Introducing Mistaya Joy!

Mistaya Joy. Photo by proud father, Paul Zizka.

After many long months of anticipation I am so excited to introduce you all to our little adventurer, Mistaya Joy!

Mistaya or “Maya”, as we call her, was born at 2:03 am on March 22, 2013, weighing 7 lbs. 5 oz.

She has already demonstrated her adventurous spirit (and endurance!) by making labour and delivery as interesting and eventful as possible, and putting mom and dad’s stamina to the test over the course of 28 hours. She is absolutely beautiful and has added so much to our lives with her sweet presence.

Her name, Mistaya, means “grizzly bear” in Stoney Nakoda and is the name given to a few of our favourite features here in the Canadian Rockies, including Mistaya Canyon. Joy is my middle name, as well as my mother’s.

I have much more to write, but a little bear to attend to. Thanks to everyone for their support so far!


Mistaya Canyon, Banff National Park. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.
Mistaya Canyon, Banff National Park. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Author: Meghan J. Ward

Meghan J. Ward is an outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in Banff, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Meghan has written several books, as well as produced content for films, anthologies, blogs and some of North America’s top outdoor, fitness and adventure publications. She has a forthcoming travel memoir (Fall 2022), to published by Rocky Mountain Books.

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