Since 2001, the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) and the National Council of Indigenous Midwives (NCIM) have promoted the vital role of midwives in sexual, reproductive, and newborn health. We work across all levels, driving change in legislation and funding, strengthening regional associations, and supporting midwives directly with tools and learning opportunities.
CAM’s Land Acknowledgement
CAM’s head office is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. We recognize the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation as the custodians of the lands and waters of Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal), which has long been a gathering place for diverse First Nations, including Algonquin-Anishinaabe, Atikamekw, and Huron-Wendat.
We recognize the historical and continued violence of settler colonialism and are committed to learning and working toward reconciliation through collaborative, bilateral and reciprocally beneficial relationships with Indigenous peoples and communities.
NCIM and CAM Memorandum of Understanding
Since 2008, CAM and NCIM have been deliberately cultivating a collaborative relationship anchored in the belief that true partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health care providers will result in improved health care outcomes for Indigenous families. CAM acknowledges its responsibilities to the rebuilding of Indigenous nations and does this work through the guidance of NCIM.
The National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health (NCCIH) is a national Indigenous organization established in 2005 by the Government of Canada and funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis public health renewal and health equity through knowledge translation and exchange.
Yellowhead Institute is an Indigenous-led research and education centre based in the Faculty of Arts at Toronto Metropolitan University. The Institute privileges Indigenous philosophy and amplifies Indigenous voices that provide alternatives to settler colonialism in Canada today. Rooted in community networks, Yellowhead offers critical and accessible resources to support the reclamation of Indigenous land and life.
Online events, research, educational opportunities and tools, and a robust library.
Published by the RÉSEAU de la communauté autochtone à Montréal, an excellent tool for individuals and organizations to examine their implicit biases and strategies for implementing change. Available in French and English.
If you would like to write your own land acknowledgment, here are some useful resources.
Memorial University’s Office of Indigenous Affairs has an excellent resource about land acknowledgements, decolonization, and protocols. (https://www.mun.ca/indigenous/resources/territory-acknowledgement/)
On top of our 3 Pillars and core values, we also have policies to help guide decision making.
Anti-Corruption / Anti-Fraud Policy: Fraud, bribery, and corruption impact disproportionately on the poor and the most vulnerable people in the world, and disproportionately impact women. Such criminal activities divert resources from the intended beneficiaries, increase the costs of basic public services, and undermine economic growth, and are barriers to poverty alleviation.
CAM’s Position Statements outline our views on key issues around sexual and reproductive health. Topics range from anti-racism to working conditions. These statements help influence the conversation and move legislation towards our goal of equitable access to excellent sexual, reproductive, and newborn midwifery services for everyone.
Midwives’ Provision of Abortion: Access to safe and legal abortion is a human right and providing abortion care and post abortion care is part of the role of Canadian midwives. Sexism, colonialism, poverty, racism, ableism, heterosexism, and cissexism create inequities in access to abortion care in Canada. Lack of access in rural areas, language barriers, and perceptions of risk to providers have also reduced timely access to abortion. CAM supports Canadian midwives who already provide abortion and post-abortion care and midwives who are working to integrate this care into their practice and calls on midwives and all reproductive health care providers to work to ensure access to abortion care in Canada.
Midwifery Care, Immunization, and Informed Choice: Access to vaccination information and services is a human right and increasing safe and equitable access to vaccines and vaccine information is important for community health and well-being. The prevention, control and treatment of infectious diseases improves health overall and helps to reduce health inequities among population groups.
Combatting Anti-Indigenous Racism: CAM strongly condemns the forced, coerced, and involuntary sterilization of Indigenous Peoples. We strongly condemn the over-representation of Indigenous infants and children in child protection services across the country and the practice of birth alerts. We strongly condemn the routine and blanket evacuation of pregnant people for birth and demand the return of birthing services to all Indigenous communities.
COVID-19 Vaccination & Health Care Workers: The evidence is clear that vaccines are safe, and vaccination helps to prevent the morbidity/mortality of COVID-19 infection. We support vaccination against COVID-19 and recommend that all midwives get vaccinated.
Reproductive Health Care:CAM commits to ensuring universal access to reproductive health care for all people in Canada and around the world. This commitment is grounded in the knowledge that universal access to reproductive health care is essential for achieving gender equity, as well as the realization of many important global development goals.
Canadian Midwifery Model of Care: The seven core principles of the Canadian midwifery model of care are: professional autonomy, partnership, informed choice, continuity of care-provider, choice of birth place, evidence-based practice and collaborative practice. This statement is a reference for the public, midwives, policy makers, government, health professionals, and educators, as well as those engaged in research, education, regulation, collaboration, and professional development.
Statement on Gender Inclusivity and Human Rights: We are committed to the inclusion of trans, genderqueer, intersex and otherwise marginalized communities in our central dialogue and focused on ensuring that CAM is inclusive in its statements, actions, and in all aspects of its work. These priorities should not be established by the needs of the majority but by the powerful impact of the inclusion of all voices.
Home Birth: CAM recognizes that planned home birth for healthy women is safe and that the definition of safety in maternity care includes physical safety, as well as a woman’s self-defined values of cultural, spiritual and emotional safety for herself, her baby and her family.
Midwifery Care and Normal Birth: CAM believes that midwives are making a vital contribution to interdisciplinary efforts to promote normal birth and decrease the anxiety that often surrounds maternity care today. Trust in the normal childbirth process is fundamental to the philosophy and practice of midwifery, the language midwives speak and the care they provide to women.
Breastfeeding: The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) advocates for breastfeeding as the optimal method of infant feeding with significant benefits for both mother and child, and recognizes its overall value and importance to public health. CAM endorses recommendations that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, and that breastfeeding ideally should continue after other foods are introduced.
Elective Caesarean Section: CAM allies with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada by stating that vaginal birth is clearly the safest birth for most women and babies, and that caesarean surgery on demand will have disastrous social and financial consequences for health internationally. Presenting interventions such as c‐section as “options” puts maternity care providers and women in a consumerist relationship, and treats childbirth as a problem to be solved rather than a process to be respected.
NCIM Position Statements, fully endorsed by CAM
Evacuation for Birth: The National Council of Indigenous Midwives (NCIM) strongly condemns the routine and blanket evacuation of pregnant people for birth and demands the return of birthing services to all Indigenous communities. It is unacceptable that people must leave their communities and travel to large and usually southern centres to access maternity care services.
Indigenous Child Apprehensions: NCIM recognizes that the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in child protection systems is fueled by a Western society that cannot effectively address the ongoing challenges for Indigenous families created by racism and colonization.
Forced and Coerced Sterilization of Indigenous Peoples: The National Council of Indigenous Midwives (NCIM) strongly condemns the forced, coerced, and involuntary sterilization of Indigenous Peoples. These reprehensible procedures are founded on eugenics laws, policies, and ideologies that are racist, sexist, ableist, and classist. Forced, coerced, and involuntary sterilization does not just affect individual Indigenous Peoples; it is an assault on our families, communities, and Nations and continues Canada’s long-standing history of colonization and assimilation.
Rural Maternity Care: Canadian women deserve quality maternity care regardless of whether they live in urban, rural, or remote communities. Individual health care providers must work to develop and maintain models of maternity care adapted to the communities in which women reside and to the resources available.
Nurses and Midwives Collaborate on Client-Centred Care:CNA, CAM and CAPWHN regard increasing the development of inter-professional and collaborative models for health service delivery as important for improving access to primary maternity care. Midwives and nurses frequently work together, complement and learn from each other, and understand and value each other’s roles and experiences.
Breastfeeding: CAM and CNA join in endorsing the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. While supporting a woman’s right to decide the method of feeding her child, registered midwives and registered nurses in Canada are strong advocates of breastfeeding and will work with their clients, other health-care professionals and public policy-makers in all sectors as necessary to encourage successful breastfeeding.
Liability Protection for Midwives and Physicians: New and evolving models for health care delivery have increased the opportunity for physicians, midwives and other health care providers to all be involved in the treatment of the same patient. This inevitably reinforces the need for health care professionals to ensure they individually have adequate personal professional liability protection.
Board of Directors
CAM is lead by representatives from every province and territory across Canada.
Alberta: Marita Obst, RM British Columbia: Lisa Delorme, RM Manitoba: Tracy Mullet, RM New Brunswick: Brittany Stairs, RM Newfoundland & Labrador: Brianna Thompson, RM Northwest Territories: Tracy Hydeman, RM Nova Scotia: Jessica MacDonald, RM Nunavut: TBA Ontario: Jasmin Tecson, RM Prince Edward Island: Joyce England Québec: Josyane Giroux, RM Saskatchewan: Victoria Braun, RM Yukon: TBD NCIM co-chairs: Brenda Epoo, SF Student rep: Maheen Maryam
Being a member of CAM means that you are taking a stand and declaring that you believe in a better future; that you support our vision of equitable access to excellent sexual, reproductive, and newborn midwifery services for everyone; that you believe in our shared values of equity, responsibility, respect and integrity.