Every year, NACM members gather to connect, share about our work and communities, learn, and plan for the future of Indigenous midwifery in Canada.

It is an opportunity to support each other and the important work of Indigenous midwives to bring birth back to our communities. This usually takes place in the Fall, after the Canadian Association of Midwives conference.

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We hope you will join us next year for NACM’s Gathering October 2020 in Banff, where we will look at supporting Indigenous midwifery in Alberta.

NACM Gathering 2019

The 2019 Gathering Lighting the Eastern Fire took place on Saturday, October 26 in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, NS) at the Westin Nova Scotian and the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre.

We welcomed a presentation by Autumn Cavender‑Wilson, a Wahpetunwan Dakota midwife, to guide us in discussions about NACM’s work, and had time to connect with one another.

Group photo of NACM members at 2018 Gathering in Kitigan Zibi
Members discussing NACM’s vision for Indigenous midwifery education at 2018 Gathering in Kitigan Zibi.

NACM Participation at the CAM Conference

This year we also expanded our involvement in the CAM Conference from October 23‑25.

We opened the conference with singing, drumming and ceremony. We were welcomed by Grand Keptin of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council Andrew Denny. Elder Maggie Paul drummed and sang, and Elder Siasi Smiler lit a ceremonial qullik and spoke about the importance of Indigenous midwifery. Mi’kmaw artist Lorne Julien drummed and sang, and Mi’kmaw midwives Diane Simon and Alisha Julien Reid were honoured for their work. NACM also organized a teepee and 24‑hour sacred fire, and two sunrise ceremonies led by Grand Keptin Andrew Denny and Elder Maggie Paul. Elder Jane Abram opened the first full day of the conference on October 24.

NACM leaders Nathalie Pambrun, Ellen Blais and Carol Couchie pose with CAM President Katrina Kilroy, CAM Executive Director Tonia Occhionero and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau (third from left), after her presentation at the 2018 CAM Conference in Gatineau, Quebec.
Grand Keptin of the Mi'kmaq Grand Council Andrew Denny welcomes delegates at the 2019 CAM Conference opening ceremony.
Grand Keptin of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council Andrew Denny welcomes delegates at the 2019 CAM Conference opening ceremony.

Additionally, NACM hosted a pre‑conference community workshop called Growing Indigenous Midwifery in the Atlantic Region.

Participants gathered from across the Maritimes to share strategies around growing Indigenous midwifery in this region. NACM also hosted two NACM‑members only workshops: Navigating Child‑Family Welfare Services, and Diversifying Paths to Education: Listening to Our Students.

NACM leader Kerry Bebee works on NACM organizational diagram at 2014 Gathering in Saskatoon.
NACM members outside Mungo Martin House during 2016 Gathering
NACM members gather at the fire site in Esquimalt during the 2016 Gathering
NACM members at 2015 Gathering in Kahnawake