Presentation Information

Karen Lawford

Indigenous Midwifery in Canada: A Primer for Improving Health and Well-Being

  • Speaker: Karen Lawford , PhD, RM, AM
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits:
Abstract:

Since the formation of Canada in 1867, the Canadian government has systematically imposed a Euro-Western biomedical model of maternity care on Indigenous peoples. Colonialism and white supremacy rationalized the development of the Indian Residential School system with Christian organizations in attempts to “kill the Indian in the child.” Government goals were to civilize and assimilate Indigenous Peoples into a generic Canadian identity for the sake of nation building and colonial expansion. Eugenic ideologies underpinned the reduction of Indigenous populations through the forced, coercive, and covert sterilization of Indigenous women and girls. In Canada, two provinces had a Sexual Sterilization Act (Alberta and British Columbia), although it was practiced throughout the country. In the area of maternity care, Canadian healthcare systems have consistently failed Indigenous people and their children as evidenced by having highest IMR in Canada. Despite this, Indigenous midwifery and improved child and maternal health for Indigenous people, families, and communities can be realized. A return of birth to the land, recognition of Indigenous women’s and Two Spirit leadership in the provision of excellent culturally-informed, anti-colonial maternity care will contribute to the improved health and wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples.

Live Presentation Schedule

Feb 9, 2021