2020 coming soon!

Past Speakers

2019 Speakers

The CAM Conference showcases amazing speakers who offer the latest research on midwifery and reproductive health, innovative clinical skills, and inspiring sessions.

Addressing the Links Between Environmental Racism, Reproductive Illness and Reproductive Justice in Indigenous and Black Communities

Ingrid Waldron, PhD

Ingrid Waldron is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University, the Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project)... >>>

and the Team Lead for the Health of People of African Descent Research Cluster at the Healthy Populations Institute at Dalhousie University.She holds a BA in Psychology from McGill University, an MA in Intercultural Education: Race, Ethnicity & Culture from the Institute of Education at the University of London, and a Ph.D. from the Sociology and Equity Studies in Education Department at the University of Toronto. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Women’s Health in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Ingrid’s scholarship is driven by a long-standing interest in looking at the many ways in which spaces and places are organized by structures of colonialism and gendered racial capitalism. Her research, teaching, and community leadership and advocacy work are examining and addressing the health impacts of structural inequalities within health, education, employment, child welfare, the environment, and criminal justice in Indigenous, Black, immigrant, refugee, and other racialized communities in Nova Scotia and Canada. As a Black feminist scholar, Ingrid has a specific interest in looking at how the bodies of Black and other racialized women have long been sites of trauma that carry the weight of the past, and present-day stereotypes that dehumanize and harm. She is also interested in decolonization, and the transformative human agency of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized women, in the face of oppressive structures.

Over the last several years, she has been leading the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project, which is investigating the socio-economic and health effects of environmental racism in Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian communities across Nova Scotia. The project formed the basis to the creation of Bill 31: Redressing Environmental Racism Act, the first bill to address environmental racism in Canada and to be introduced in the legislature in Canada.

In 2018, Dr. Waldron was awarded Dalhousie University President’s Research Excellence Award – Research Impact, and in 2019 she was awarded the Dalhousie University Faculty of Health Early Career Research Excellence Award.

Her first book There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities was released in April 2018 by Fernwood Publishing and received the 2019 Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing.

The 2019 documentary There’s Something in the Water is based on Dr. Waldron’s book and was co-produced by Waldron, actress Ellen Page, and Ian Daniel. The film had its gala premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Atlantic International Film Festival in September 2019.


Towards Sustainable Midwifery in Canada:
Lessons from the Global South

Fatimah Jackson‑Best, PhD

This keynote speech will incorporate relevant data and key findings from my research on maternal depression conducted with women in Barbados.>>>

The presentation will use this information to explore how midwives in Canada can learn from examples in the Global South and mobilize the knowledge towards fostering increased cultural sensitivity and safety to meet the needs of Black women, racialized women, and new immigrant clients.

Dr. Fatimah Jackson‑Best is a public health researcher with a specialization in mental health and whose work focuses on communities in Canada and the Caribbean. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and her doctoral work focused on maternal depression in Barbados. Dr. Jackson‑Best is currently the Project Manager of Pathways to Care, and is designing a mental health intervention for Black children, youth, and their families in Ontario.

Two-Step Delivery and Shoulder Dystocia:
Head-to-body interval is less important than we think; Intact cord resuscitation: much more than hemoglobin

Andrew Kotaska, MD, FRCSC

A belief that prolonged head‑to‑body delivery interval endangers the newborn underpins the common obstetrical practice of delivering the baby’s trunk immediately after the head is born.>>>

Without intervention, however, birth typically occurs in two steps: once the fetal head is delivered there is usually a pause, and the rest of the infant is born with the next contraction. Dr. Kotaska will discuss evidence showing that a two‑step delivery does not increase the risk of fetal harm, may lower the incidence of shoulder dystocia, and should be considered physiologically normal, with implications for the definition of shoulder dystocia.

Delayed cord clamping not only improves fetal iron stores, it will “auto‑resuscitate” babies who have experienced cord compression. Dr. Kotaska will briefly discuss the logistics, hemodynamics and acid‑base physiology of intact‑cord resuscitation.

Dr. Kotaska is an Obstetrician & Gynecologist in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, where he lives with his wife and two boys. He received his medical degree from U.B.C. in 1992 and worked as a GP-surgeon in northern British Columbia before returning to complete a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2006. He has academic appointments with the Universities of British Columbia, Manitoba, and Toronto. He is regularly active in midwifery and obstetrical education. Dr. Kotaska’s academic interests centre on preserving physiological birth while avoiding unnecessary obstetrical intervention; the overestimation of risk in obstetrics; and the ethics of informed consent and refusal. His latest research interests focus on safe vaginal breech birth, the effect of epidural analgesia on labour, spontaneous two-step delivery, and the shortcomings of guidelines.

I Won’t Need a Nanny, But So What if I Did?

Cynthia Bruce, PhD

Disabled mothers face unbearable scrutiny from the time we discover we are pregnant. Consequently, we are often forced to prepare for childbirth within a traditional system that can’t conceive of disability as anything other than an individual tragedy or defect that renders us incapable of caring for ourselves or our children.>>>

Disabled mothers face unbearable scrutiny from the time we discover we are pregnant.  Consequently, we are often forced to prepare for childbirth within a traditional system that can’t conceive of disability as anything other than an individual tragedy or defect that renders us incapable of caring for ourselves or our children. This presentation will discuss how ableism is implicated in constructing disabled lives as tragic and disabled mothers as incapable; and it will explore the role that midwives can play in supporting disabled mothers and disrupting narrow understandings of who should and should not become parents.

Cynthia Bruce is a blind activist educator and researcher working locally, provincially, and nationally to build commitment and capacity around equitable access to education and employment for disabled people. She has worked with all levels of government to implement accessibility legislation and ratify international disability rights agendas, and she consults with communities and organizations to promote an ethic of equity and inclusion. Cynthia’s  research activities aim to expose the systemic and institutional policies and practices that work against the realization of disability rights for disabled people in Canada.

A High Risk Body for Whom?
On Risk, Recognition and Reclamation in Reproductive Care

May Friedman, MSW, PhD (presenter)

Carla Rice, PhD

Emma Lind, PhD(c)

This presentation seeks to explore issues of weight stigma and fertility, reproduction, pregnancy and parenting. In this workshop we will consider the ways that reproductive risk is typically storied in healthcare and culture, and will screen several micro‑documentaries made by project participants which challenge us to story reproductive wellbeing differently.>>>

We expose three major themes — on risk, on recognition of weight and other stigma, and on reclamation of bodies — that emerged as critical to these storytellers. We argue that just as clinicians strive to practice evidence-based care we must also put into practice storied care — to believe, respect, and honour people’s stories of their bodies as fundamental to achieving equity in reproductive healthcare.

Dr. May Friedman works at Ryerson University as a faculty member in the School of Social Work and in the Ryerson/York graduate program in Communication and Culture. May’s research looks at unstable identities, including bodies that do not conform to traditional racial and national or aesthetic lines. Most recently, much of May’s research has focused on intersectional approaches to fat studies considering the multiple and fluid experiences of both fat oppression and fat activism.

Dr. Carla Rice is an award‑winning Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Guelph specializing in embodiment studies, arts-based and creative methodologies, non‑normative cultures, and accessibility and inclusion. She founded Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice as an arts‑informed research centre with a mandate to foster inclusive communities, social well‑being, equity, and justice.

Emma Lind holds an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto’s Women and Gender Studies Institute and a M.A. in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies from York University. She is a doctoral candidate in the Institute for Comparative Study in Literature Art and Culture (ICSLAC) at Carleton University. Her research examines the relationships between identity, materiality, power, and knowledge production in interdisciplinary contexts. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation with a focus on the Canadian arts and crafts movement.

2018 Speakers

Dr. Onye Nnorom, MDCM, CCFP, MPH, FRCPC

How Racism Affects Maternal Health

Onye Nnorom,

In this presentation, I will discuss how the stress of systemic racism and inter‑personal racism in healthcare can affect maternal and fetal outcomes.>>>

I will provide examples in Canada and internationally. Although I will focus on Anti‑Black racism, the impacts of anti‑Indigenous racism and Islamophobia on maternal health will also be reviewed. Finally, promising practices for addressing systemic and inter‑personal racism in healthcare will also be explored.

Dr. Onye Nnorom is a Family Doctor and a Public Health & Preventive Medicine specialist. She practices at TAIBU Community Health Centre, in Toronto and is the Primary Care Lead for Cancer Care Ontario’s Central East Regional Cancer Program, providing leadership on matters of cancer prevention and care to primary care physicians in the region. She is also the Associate Program Director of the Public Health & Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the University of Toronto. She recently took on the position as the Black Health Theme Lead for the Faculty of Medicine, incorporating Black Canadian health issues into the medical school curriculum.

Dr. Nnorom completed her medical degree at McGill University, and then completed a Masters of Public Health (Epidemiology) and residency training at the University of Toronto. Being of Nigerian and Trinidadian heritage, she is particularly interested in immigrant health, and Black community health and wellness. She is the President and Board Chair of the Black Physicians’ Association of Ontario.

Louise McDonald Herne

Wakerakatste Louise McDonald Herne is a condoled Bear Clan Mother for the Mohawk Nation Council. She is a trusted advisor for families and community youth, and works closely with them in their homes and schools. She bestows traditional names in the longhouse, and provides spiritual counsel for all those seeking support.>>>

Through her work as a matrilineal leader and as a mother, Louise McDonald Herne is a founding member of Konon:kwe Council, a circle of Mohawk women working to reconstruct the power of our origins through education, empowerment and trauma-informed approaches. Louise champions the philosophy of Kahnistensera, “Mother Law.” Kahnistensera is a natural law that binds our Onkwehon:we kinship society. She is also the lead conductor of the Moon Lodge Society, convening women and girls on a monthly basis in line with the full moon cycle.

Louise is the principal organizer and leader of Ohero:kon (“Under the Husk”), a traditional Rite of Passage ceremony for Mohawk youth. Since 2005, she has guided hundreds of community families and volunteers through self-reflection and Haudenosaunee cultural instruction and ceremony.

She has also presented at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and lectures regularly at universities throughout Canada and the United States on Haudenosaunee philosophies and self-determination in regards to women. She is currently the Distinguished Scholar in Indigenous Learning at McMaster University Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (MIIETL).

Psychiatric Issues During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period

Ariel Dalfen, MD, FRCP(c)

This presentation will address issues regarding the diagnosis and recognition of common mental health issues in pregnancy and the postpartum period as well as inform the audience about safe and effective treatment approaches.>>>

Dr. Ariel Dalfen is a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital where she is the head of the Perinatal Mental Health Program. She specializes in treating women who are pregnant or postpartum. After completing her undergraduate degree at Princeton University, she attended McMaster University medical school, and then completed her specialty training in psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dalfen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and has published in both medical journals and the popular media. She lectures for both medical and public audiences on an array of topics and has been a medical contributor on various television programs. In 2008, she published a book, When Baby Brings the Blues: Solutions for Postpartum Depression. This book is highly regarded and utilized by both health care providers and the general public.

2016 CAM Conference

Lesley Page, PhD, HonDSc, HFRCM, RM
President, Royal College of Midwives
Keynote Speaker

Madeleine Dion Stout
Grandparents Counsel Member, CRICH, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto

Raymond De Vries, PhD
Co-director, Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan

Elaine Carty, MSN, CNM, DSc(hc)
Founding Director, Midwifery Program, University of British Columbia


Thank you to our Presenting Partner


Thank you to our Partners