We advocate in partnership with the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) and other midwifery associations to relevant governments for policy changes and funding to advance Indigenous midwifery, the growth, diversity, and accessibility of midwifery throughout Canada, and continued investments to strengthen midwifery globally.
Governments and the public will have better knowledge of midwifery, the role of midwifery associations, and of their impacts on sexual reproductive health and rights in Canada and globally.
In May 2021, several midwifery leaders across Canada presented as witnesses to the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women. The Committee had received a standing order from the House of Commons to conduct a study of midwifery services across Canada, including the ramifications of the elimination of Laurentian University’s midwifery education program and strategies to ensure that access to health services is maintained.
Presenters included: Alix Bacon (CAM President), Lisa Morgan (Laurentian MEP), Susan James (Laurentian MEP), Kristy Bourret (Laurentian MEP), Kim Campbell (Chair CAMED), Jasmin Tecson (President AOM), Josyane Giroux (President RSFQ), Claire Dion Fletcher (NACM co-Chair), Brenda Epoo (NACM co-Chair) and Louise Aerts (Chair CMRC).
Federal Calls to Action included:
- Support the relocation of the Laurentian University Midwifery Education Program.
- Expand investments in Indigenous Midwifery, including education pathways.
- Extend Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program to midwives.
- Allocate funding within Health Canada to create programs to diversify the health workforce.
- Recognize Midwives as primary health providers in occupational classifications as defined by the Treasury Board of Canada.
- Create senior Midwifery Leadership positions such as Chief Midwifery Officer within Health Canada.
- Invest in CAM’s capacity building work for Canadian Midwifery Associations.
ICM Triennial Congress – Virtual in 2021 CAM hosted several presentations at the virtual ICM Triennial Congress in June 2021. NACM co-Chair Claire Dion Fletcher and CAM President Alix Bacon represented our membership at the ICM Council Meetings in early June 2021 just prior to the Congress.
In early 2021 Dr. Kirsty Bourret and Dr. Cristina Mattison (McMaster Midwifery Research Centre) published their research demonstrating evidence for midwifery association capacity building by studying CAM Global’s activities and approach. A few months later, a second round of funding was approved to extend the research to include member associations of CAM. The midwifery associations in Nova Scotia, Alberta and in Newfoundland & Labrador were selected for second research project (2021-22). This work is funded by CAM and MITACS.
CAM President Alix Bacon participated in a meeting of the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Midwifery Steering Committee to present the Canadian Midwifery Model of Care and to underscore the importance of homebirth and the recognition and inclusion of Indigenous Midwifery in midwifery regulations. A similar presentation was delivered by CAM to the Yukon Midwifery Implementation Committee earlier this year.
CAM participated in a roundtable discussion co-hosted by Minister of Health Patty Hajdu and Minister of Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef in November 2020. The event marked the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
NACM will continue to be an expert advisor for reproductive care and Indigenous women’s health for Indigenous Services Canada.
Over the last 15 years CAM & NACM 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 under the direction of NACM.
NACM & CAM continue to share infrastructure and resources to mutually strengthen our work and our voices.
To find out more about how NACM is leading the way for Indigenous Midwifery visit https://indigenousmidwifery.ca/
In November 2021, CAM published a statement on Combatting Anti-Indigenous Racism. The statement includes calls to action for CAM, the Federal government, educational institutions, and health departments. Read CAM’s Statement on Combatting Anti-Indigenous Racism.
CAM will continue to amplify the voice of Global Midwifery
This short, animated film based on the true story of a young midwife using her training and ingenuity to save the life of a mother from a post-partum hemorrhage has been screened in nine (9) international film festivals (including Canada, USA, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia). The film is being used as an advocacy tool to promote the importance and value of midwives in the health care system. Labour Pains has had 18,000 views online to date.
Midwives Always Have Songs
A series of public engagement pieces created to promote the collaboration between midwives in Canada and South Sudan. They include a magazine, a series of short videos, social media posts and a web-documentary. The pieces have been shared on social media and have been viewed more than 225, 000 times. For information: www.midwifesongs.org
Voice, Choice, Change (Documentary)
This documentary showcases the lives and roles of two South Sudanese and two Canadian midwives. As of September 2021, it has seen by approximately 5,000 people and has over 100,000 views online.