NACM’s Bringing Home Birth Project ended in June, having opened the doors to future growth of Indigenous midwifery in Canada.
The National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM)’s Co‑chairs are satisfied that the project took meaningful steps towards restoring birth to Indigenous communities.
“We were able to visit more communities than had been originally envisioned by the project and made some good connections in those communities. We appreciate the hard work of Community Programs Lead, Evelyn George, who did an excellent job of positioning NACM as the voice of Indigenous midwifery in Canada.”
— Co‑chair Melissa Brown
Few Indigenous families in Canada have access to culturally safe midwifery care near their home communities. Transforming the experience of birth is central to intergenerational healing for Indigenous families. The project was designed to address the lack of access to Indigenous midwives.
Throughout the one-year project, 12 Indigenous midwives and Indigenous student midwives visited a total of 10 communities to deliver health education workshops, advocacy meetings or both. Another 12 Indigenous midwives and other health professionals developed and delivered 8 webinars on topics that were attended by a total of 95 persons. Fifteen midwives participated in a pilot mentorship program.
The project also enabled NACM to host a feast for 83 local and visiting Indigenous midwives during the ICM Congress in June 2017 and supported NACM to meet with the federal ministries of Health and Indigenous Services, national Aboriginal Organizations, educational organizations and provincial and territorial midwifery associations.
Bringing Birth Home was funded by Save the Children Canada (SCC) and represented the second year of an ongoing partnership between SCC and NACM.