NACM Represents at the UN!

April 22–25, 2019 | UN Headquarters, New York

The Eighteenth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

NACM Co‑Chair Carol Couchie and Core Leader Cheryllee Bourgeois participated as part of the Canadian Delegation through Indigenous Services Canada at the 18th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNFPII).

On April 22, Carol attended a breakfast session honouring Indigenous rights advocate Chief Wilton Littlechild, IPC, as an invited guest of Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown‑Indigenous Relations and His Excellency Mr. Marc‑André Blanchard, the Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations.

Co‑Chair Carol Couchie
Co‑Chair Carol Couchie

On April 23, Cheryllee and Doris, an apprentice midwife from Vilcashuamán, Peru, presented at a side event on preserving the ancestral knowledge of traditional Indigenous midwives: Indigenous midwives are keepers of a wealth of knowledge on sexual and reproductive health!

Doris, an apprentice midwife from Vilcashuamán, Peru, and Cheryllee
Doris, an apprentice midwife from Vilcashuamán, Peru, and Cheryllee

On April 24, Carol presented as part of a panel on Traditional Knowledge: Generation, Transmission and Protection.

This side‑event was organized by the Trilateral Working Group (Mexico, United States and Canada) and explored the role of Indigenous midwives in improving maternal health for Indigenous women, particularly for women in rural Indigenous communities and their role in transmitting and protecting traditional practices. The event also touched on broader maternal health practices in the context of eradicating violence through connection to culture.

Core Leader Cheryllee Bourgeois speaking at the UN
Core Leader Cheryllee Bourgeois

On April 25, Cheryllee spoke during the hearing with Indigenous Peoples:

“The criminalization of Indigenous midwifery is just one way of perpetrating violence against Indigenous women.”

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