Keynote speaker, UK midwife Lesley Page opened the conference with an impassioned and entertaining speech, weaving stories of her first delivery as a young midwife with those of midwifery advocacy and the evolution of the midwifery practice in the UK, where she is the current President of the Royal College of Midwives.
Cree speaker Madeleine Dion Stout generously shared her Cree lessons, teaching attendees the Cree word for Midwifery witnessing, watching, mirroring. She suggested that CAM, at this time of unprecedented growth, should not forget that ‘’imperfection is the beauty of partnerships’’. Her messages were met with a spontaneous standing ovation.
Assistant Deputy Minister, Ted Patterson gave strong messages of support for the midwifery model and confirmed that BC is on target to achieve its goal of 35% of midwife accompanied births by 2020.
This year’s conference was marked by an important increase in the presence of midwifery students, with over 90 students in attendance. Their participation at this year’s conference was made possible through grants given by CAM and MABC as well as time off granted by the University of British Columbia and other education programs. Midwifery students who received grants to attend the CAM Conference in Victoria share what the grants and the conference meant to them.