INDIGENOUS MIDWIFERY SESSIONS AT ICM 2017

POSTER PRESENTATIONS

NAME OF PRESENTATION

PRESENTERS

ABSTRACT

Creating a Cree Midwifery Program Jasmine Chatelain  
Indigenous-led birth centre, Midwifery-led births: The Toronto Birth Centre Cheryllee Bourgeois  
Supporting the transformative work of Indigenous midwives to increase access to midwifery care Ellen Blais & AOM

Aboriginal midwives occupy a unique place in the landscape of midwifery care in Ontario. This work has tremendous value for the healing of communities, from reclamation of Indigenous birthing practices to mentoring new Indigenous students and increasing capacity, and supporting the work of self- determination and de-colonization. Aboriginal midwives are working in educational institutions, midwifery practices, government and midwifery associations. There are many stories of the transformative work of Aboriginal midwives. Yet there are many hurdles to overcome to ensure Aboriginal women and their communities can access, and benefit from, midwifery care. Unlike registered midwives, who were brought into the publicly-funded health care system in 1994, Aboriginal midwives are not able to access the equitable funding streams to begin practice or to establish community clinics. The AOM has been working to change that, adding our voice to a movement which honours the critical, restorative and deep healing work of Indigenous midwives.
Specifically, the AOM led a successful campaign to advocate for the recognition and funding of Aboriginal midwives. In this presentation, we’ll explore the various components of the campaign (including coalition-building and advocacy work). As a result of the campaign, the government announced funding for Aboriginal midwifery in March 2015. We expect to be able to share information about the communities awarded funding at the ICM. The funding of Aboriginal midwifery, including Aboriginal midwives who work under an exemption in Ontario’s Midwifery Act is both historical and groundbreaking in that it enables Indigenous communities the autonomy to define and govern midwifery services for their communities.
References:

Aboriginal Midwifery in Ontario Proposal
Ontario Midwife Newsletter

Shifting Landscapes of Midwifery Rachel Olson An in-depth understanding of how these practices currently function and operate is fundamental to understanding the current challenges and successes of midwifery care in Aboriginal communities.  The variety of funding arrangements in the midwifery practices, for example, signals the innovative ways in which midwifery practices in Aboriginal communities could be funded.  However, the barriers to funding experienced by midwives working under the Exemption Clause in Ontario, for example, signals the need to adapt the current funding mechanisms of our health care system.
These and other findings from our 2016 Landscape of Midwifery study will be presented as an infographic - a visual representation of the information and knowledge we have gathered. The graphic will depict an overview of midwifery practices, and will share information on location, setting and funding agreement midwives are working within.

Notes/Questions:
NACM recently produced this poster as part of the Landscape project
Building a Relationship Framework: Bringing together the work of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) and Save the Children Canada (SCC) Cheryllee Bourgeois In early 2015, NACM and SCC came together to discuss collaboration around a shared vision to improve access to Aboriginal midwifery and health outcomes for infants, children, mothers and family members. In August 2015, NACM and SCC engaged in a Partnership Agreement. The partnership shares the commitment to promote, demonstrate and advocate for the full role of Indigenous midwives in Indigenous communities across Canada. Save the Children Canada’s Relationship Framework was created to exemplify the principles and cultural protocols needed to work in meaningful relationship with Indigenous partners.  It is a governing document within Save the Children to enhance management strategies, policies and direct practice in working with Indigenous partners.  It is also intended to honour and respect Indigenous ways of knowing and decolonizing approaches as an ongoing process of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships.

Notes/Questions:
Originally submitted with Evelyn Harney and Terry Swan.
NACM Coordinator and Marilyn Morley, of SCC, will support.

SYMPOSIUMS

NAME OF PRESENTATION

PRESENTERS

ABSTRACT

Models and Outcomes of Midwifery Care in Indigenous and Northern Communities of Canada Gisela Becker
Brenda Epoo
Lesley Paulette
Julie Wilson
This symposium discusses models and outcomes of midwifery care in Indigenous, rural and northern communities across Canada. The presentation provides an overview of Indigenous and northern midwifery programs and highlights current initiatives underway across Canada. The communities and programs are geographically far apart, began at different times and serve diverse peoples; nonetheless they all started in response to dissatisfaction with existing maternity services and resulted in the return of Indigenous midwifery practice and childbirth to the communities. The programs share globally recognized approaches to returning midwifery and childbirth to home communities contributing to community development, cultural renewal and healing from impacts of colonization. Previous reviews and research of the midwifery programs in Nunavik, Nunavut, Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, and Six Nations Maternal and Child Centre have shown outcomes similar to Canada and support the return of childbirth even to isolated communities.
International panel with speakers from NZ, Australia Carol Couchie  

ORAL PRESENTATIONS

NAME OF PRESENTATION

PRESENTERS

ABSTRACT

Indigenous Midwifery Best Practices Cheryllee Bourgeois  
Refusing Delinquency, Reclaiming  Power: Indigenous Motherhood and Midwifery Education Claire Dion Fletcher Notes/Questions:
With Dr. Nadva Burton.
Based on book chapter written with Cheryllee Bourgeois.
Indigenous Midwives in Indigenous Communities - Birth as Decolonization Karry Bebee  
Health Canada's evacuation policy: A federal tool to maintain maternity care discrepancies for Indigenous peoples living on reserves Karen Marie
Olsen Lawford
 
The landscape of midwifery and cultural safety: Lessons Learned from Canada's National Aboriginal Council of Midwives Nathalie Pambrun Presentation on the Landscape of Midwifery Care for Aboriginal Communities in Canada.
Honoring the Protective and Transformative Work of Aboriginal Midwives: Why we advocate for change Kerry Bebee Across Canada, Indigenous midwives are working hard every day to make changes within their communities for better health outcomes for Indigenous families, in remote, rural and urban centres. With over 600 Indigenous communities, and over 1,000,000 people of Indigenous identity across Canada, there is a lot more work to be done to realize NACM’s vision of Aboriginal Midwives working in every Aboriginal community. Our advocacy work is a key part of the work we need to do to improve access to midwifery services in our communities. We advocate for the restoration of midwifery education, the provision of midwifery services, and choice of birthplace for all Aboriginal communities.
Our work takes place at the community, provincial/territorial and national level. For example, in the province of Ontario, the Association of Ontario Midwives has successfully advocated for increased funding for Indigenous midwives to work in Indigenous communities in partnership with NACM. At the national level, NACM works jointly with the Canadian Association of Midwives to lobby for federal funding for midwives to work in the community. In this presentation, we will share how we are working to increase our voice and recognition across the country.

Notes/Questions:
Was originally submitted with Ellen Blais
Growing Up: The National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) reflects on their projects, impacts and opportunities for grassroots organizers Lesley Paulette NACM has been actively engaged as advocates for Indigenous specific midwifery education, provision of culturally appropriate midwifery services, and choice of birthplace for all Aboriginal communities consistent with the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
 
This presentation will explore NACM’s applied community-based projects, from its inception as an organization to present, exploring how our vision was put into practice through the development of toolkits, student guide books, videos, posters and pamphlets and our larger website (www.aboriginalmidwives.ca).
These tools, combined with community consultations across Canada, have led to a resurgence of interest in Aboriginal midwifery care and how to access it. NACM’s efforts to stimulate dialogue, provide resources, and create meaningful opportunities for Indigenous-led midwifery services is an example of how effective organizing and project development can lead to the realization of more culturally appropriate care for the communities we serve.  While a Canadian example, NACM’s experiences may offer our international collaborators some ideas on how to grow a grassroots midwifery organization that may be useful for a diversity of contexts and constituencies.  

Notes/Questions:
Was originally submitted with Nathalie Pambrun, but ICM asked that since Nathalie is doing another oral presentation, only Lesley to do the presentation.
The National Aboriginal Council of Midwives: Who we are, our history and vision Evelyn Harney In this presentation, we will talk about the successes and challenges encountered as we work in the context of mainstream midwifery. We will talk about what distinguishes us from our non-Aboriginal counterparts, how we navigate policy, legislative and regulatory issues associated with Canada’s complex national health care system, as well as our approach to education, both within the mainstream university setting and the community-based streams. We will also describe the status of maternity services in Aboriginal communities today, including the routine practice of birth evacuations. We will share about the rise of Aboriginal midwifery and its importance to health and healing in our communities, as we reclaim traditions, ceremonies and Indigenous birth knowledges. Specific activities and strategies to restore the protective and transformative work of Aboriginal midwifery will be described.

Notes/Questions:
Katsi Cook
Lizzie Epoo-York
Annie Tulugak
 *co-presenters
Making a difference through partnership: A story of the CAM-NACM Journey Tonia Occhionero NACM members first began meeting in 2002. In 2008 decided that they wished to work under the umbrella of CAM with a status similar to provincial/territorial associations. Together, NACM and CAM began a journey of jointly advocating for the necessary educational, policy, research and regulatory structures to support the growth of Aboriginal midwifery and the return of birth to Aboriginal communities.
After nearly 10 years, the partnership represents a rich – and still emerging - story of support, mutually-beneficial growth and learning. It is a rich experience of two midwifery organizations coming together to promote the profession of midwifery in Canada – one that is rooted in a commitment to promote and support the autonomous governance and development of NACM as the national voice for Aboriginal midwifery.
This unique relationship has flourished during a time when midwifery in Canada has been growing exponentially, both within Indigenous communities and elsewhere.  This partnership has helped to ensure that midwifery in Canada is built and evolves with a strong framework of justice and equality that supports the return and reclamation of Indigenous midwifery in Indigenous communities as well as encourages the delivery of culturally-safer care by non-Indigenous midwives.
In sharing our story, we hope to inspire relationship-building among Indigenous and non-Indigenous midwifery organizations globally and believe that this is a key part of the path forward globally towards improved maternal-child health, the right to a choice of birth place, clinically-excellent, culturally-safe care.

Notes/Questions:
Originally submitted with Evelyn Harney
The landscape of midwifery and cultural safety: Lessons Learned from Canada's National Aboriginal Council of Midwives Nathalie Pambrun One of NACM’s core values is “cultural safety” which means to: “create and protect the sacred space in which each woman, in her uniqueness, can feel safe to express who she is and what she needs”. The importance of this core value stemmed from an understanding that Aboriginal Peoples have had to confront colonialism, racism and various forms of systemic discrimination, which we wanted to address as an organization. In our practices, we see firsthand how families seek spaces, conservations and approaches that offer cultural safety, and a form of care that truly respects their needs. In this presentation, we will reflect on NACM’s journey of constant learning about what cultural safety means, and the teachings we have received from the families who share their lives with us. Reflecting on this experience will open a much larger conversation about how we as a global community of midwives respectfully respond to the amazing and important diversity of identities in the world.

Notes/Questions:
Kerry Bebee