NACM Founding Member Dr. Karen Lawford Receives Indspire Award 2020

February 7, 2020

“I became a midwife to provide the gold standard of maternity care to First Nations families who live on reserves.”
– Dr. Karen Lawford, Lac Seul First Nation, ON


Dr. Karen Lawford (Ph.D., R.M., A.M.) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at Queen’s University and an Adjunct Research Professor in the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University.


She is the first registered midwife and Indigenous midwife in Canada to obtain a doctoral degree and hold a university appointment. She advocates for maternity care that allows community members to give birth in their communities and on the land, and has explored the resiliency and resistance of women evacuated from their communities for birth. She is a founding member of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives.

Dr. Lawford mentors undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students. Her growing recognition nationally and internationally as an expert in her field recently led her to be named Co-Chair of the 2019 conference for the International Health Workforce Collaborative. Dr. Lawford continues to work with Indigenous midwives in Canada, the USA, and New Zealand, with plans for forming relationships in Australia.


Representing the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own achievers, the Indspire Awards were created in 1993, in conjunction with the United Nation’s International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The Awards recognize Indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding career achievement. They promote self-esteem and pride for Indigenous communities and provide outstanding role models for Indigenous youth.


Dr. Lawford is the Indspire Award Health Laureate of 2020.

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