International Day of the Midwife Parliamentary Reception

International Day of the Midwife Parliamentary Reception

May 15, 2019 | Ottawa

Healthy, Safe Indigenous Communities: One Birth at a Time

An International Day of the Midwife Parliamentary Reception was hosted by NACM and the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) to celebrate and present the transformative work of Indigenous Midwifery in Canada.

CO-HOSTS OF THE EVENT:
  • MP Dan Vandal (Saint Boniface, Saint Vital)
  • MP Cathy McLeod (Kamloops, Thompson, Cariboo)
  • MP Georgina Jolibois (Desnethé, Missinippi, Churchill River)
SPEAKER:
  • The Honourable Seamus O’Regan,
    Minister of Indigenous Services

“Lucky are the mother and child who have known the strength and dedication of a midwife.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services with NACM Co‑Chairs Carol Couchie and Claire Dion Fletcher
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services with NACM Co‑Chairs Carol Couchie and Claire Dion Fletcher
NACM Education Table at the International Day of the Midwife Parliamentary Reception 2019
NACM Education Table at the International Day of the Midwife Parliamentary Reception 2019
Brenda Epoo (NACM Core Leader) and Annie Kasudluak (Inuk Student Midwife)
Brenda Epoo (NACM Core Leader) and Annie Kasudluak (Inuk Student Midwife)

NACM Receives the Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award!

NACM Receives the Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award!

April 29, 2019 | Ottawa

Each year, Inter Pares honours the work of a Canadian social justice organization with the Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award — this year’s theme was sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Inter-Pares-logo

Inter Pares recognized the inspiring work of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives and Clinic 554 with this year’s Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award. For the first time ever, the selection committee chose two critical organizations to receive the award: one which is working towards the sustainable return of birth to Indigenous communities; and the other which is the only out‑of‑hospital access for abortion services and sole LGBTQ clinic in New Brunswick.

The award was presented in Ottawa, on April 29 at the Inter Pares Activist Fair: Conversations on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. NACM Co‑Chair Claire Dion Fletcher received this award on behalf of NACM.

NACM and Clinic 554 receive beautiful plaques from Inter Pares.
NACM and Clinic 554 receive beautiful plaques from Inter Pares.
NACM Co‑Chair Claire Dion Fletcher with a banner produced for NACM by Inter Pares.
NACM Co‑Chair Claire Dion Fletcher with a banner produced for NACM by Inter Pares.
NACM Director Alisha Nicole Apale and Co‑Chair Claire Dion Fletcher at the Inter Pares Activist Fair in Ottawa.
NACM Director Alisha Nicole Apale and Co‑Chair Claire Dion Fletcher at the Inter Pares Activist Fair in Ottawa.

NACM Represents at the UN!

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.”

Invest in the growth and sustainability of Indigenous midwifery!

Invest in the growth and sustainability of Indigenous midwifery!

March 28, 2019

As Canada prepares to host the Women Deliver Conference, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, the Canadian Association of Midwives, the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, and Oxfam Canada have partnered to develop the three proposals below to drive progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada.

We are therefore seeking organizational endorsements for this trilogy of proposals

To endorse, COMPLETE THIS ONLINE FORM or write to sarah@actioncanadashr.org, with the name of your organization and your logo.

1. Invest in the growth and sustainability of Indigenous midwifery and therefore, to the return of birth to Indigenous communities across Canada. >>>

This is an opportunity for Canada to demonstrate to the world its response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, compliance to the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and commitment to improve the quality of health services delivered to First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples and to ensuring Indigenous Peoples have control over their health services and programs. Bringing birth back to a community has enormous cultural significance and positive effects in all areas of community health, including for women and their babies.


2. Campaigns on Universal Contraception Coverage and the National Sexual‑Ed Initiative >>>

Commit to universal cost coverage for contraceptives for all as part of a call for a national public drug plan that is universal, public and single‑payer, comprehensive safe and effective, accessible and affordable.


3. Develop a national initiative to show support for equal access to high quality sex‑ed, raise public awareness, and build capacity on the positive impact on individual health, public health and gender equality. >>>

This would inform the public of the crucial role sex‑ed plays in advancing gender equality, preventing gender‑based violence, preventing bullying, promoting health, and empowering youth.

Leadership Meeting

Leadership Meeting

January 29, 2019

NACM’s Core Leadership met at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha One:grahsta’ in Ohsweken, ON, Six Nations, on January 28 and 29, 2019.

A warm welcome to new members of the Leadership team this year, including Brenda Epoo (Inukjuak), Alisha Julien Reid (Fredericton), Hope McLennan (Alberta) and new Student Representative, Doriesha Watson-States (studying in Toronto, but from the Atlantic Region).

Government Relations

Government Relations

December 17, 2018

December Ottawa Tour

CAM (represented by Tonia Occhionero and Nathalie Pambrun) and NACM (represented by Carol Couchie, Ellen Blais and Alisha Nicole Apale) met with senior staff to advance our government relations work.

We met with policy directors from the offices of the Status of Women Canada, Indigenous Services Canada and Health Canada.

Tonia Occhionero, Ellen Blais, Nathalie Pambrun, Carol Couchie and Alisha Nicole Apale in the lobby at the Status of Women Canada in Ottawa
Tonia Occhionero, Ellen Blais, Nathalie Pambrun, Carol Couchie and Alisha Nicole Apale in the lobby at the Status of Women Canada in Ottawa

Nathalie Pambrun is appointed CAM President

Nathalie Pambrun is appointed CAM President

November 28, 2018

We are pleased to announce the appointment of NACM member Nathalie Pambrun as the new President of the Canadian Association of Midwives/Association canadienne des sages‑femmes (CAM/ACSF).

Nathalie will serve as the CAM President from November 2018 to November 2020, after having been a member of the CAM Board of Directors for over seven years. She is CAM’s first Indigenous midwife to serve as President of the organization.

Nathalie Pambrun is a Franco‑Manitoban Métis midwife who has practiced in urban, rural and remote communities across Canada and internationally. Bridging environmental and reproductive justice movements at the community level, she embraces a human rights approach that effectively respects the coming generations. She is committed to midwifery care that is accessible, equitable, and culturally safe.

Nathalie has also been a member of the Core Leadership of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives since its inception, and has served a two‑year term as the organization’s Co‑Chair from 2011 to 2012.

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