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May 11, 2022 — Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is taking action to support Indigenous communities in bringing traditional births back home. That is why the Government is announcing support for traditional births in First Nations in Atlantic Canada. As the Government of Canada continues its work in addressing anti-Indigenous racism in health systems, we recognize that expanding support for Indigenous midwifery and doula initiatives is critical in ensuring more culturally responsive and safe services. 

Today, Jaime Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney—Victoria, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced $225,000 to support midwifery projects across multiple communities in Atlantic Canada. Projects – led by Abeqweit First Nation, Natoaganeg, Elsipogtog First Nation, Eskasoni First Nation, the Innu Round Table Secretariat, Woodstock First Nation and Metepenagiag First Nation – will each make important contributions to work focused on the development of first-time legislation and regulations for the profession of Indigenous community-led midwifery services.

ISC is working to expand support for Indigenous midwifery and doula initiatives, as well as strengthening funding for national Indigenous women’s organizations and regional and grassroots organizations. The creation of doula collectives, in collaboration between First Nations communities and provincial midwifery services, will help bring birthing back to the communities in Atlantic Canada, and support engagement in Mi’kmaq communities in the process of finalizing midwifery legislation.

The Government of Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting the creation of culturally safe spaces in the country’s health systems. By continuing to work with Indigenous partners and provincial and territorial governments, having equitable and culturally safe, community-led, community-driven and distinctions-based approaches to health services will be more common in the near future. 

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