Some reflections at the conclusion of this year's National Day for Truth & Reconciliation.
I get to walk past the Cultural Wall mural at Royal Inland Hospital whenever I meet clients on Labour and Delivery. You can read about it here and check it out next time you are there. While accessing services at Royal Inland, did you know that, if you are Indigenous:
and, if you want to smudge, there are supplies available to you and a process in place?
National Council of Indigenous Midwives (NCIM) supports the growth of, and access to, Indigenous midwifery. First Light Midwifery supports NCIM's vision of access to Indigenous midwifery in all Indigenous communities. And, until that is universally available, we strive to provide a culturally-safe space for Indigenous clients to access reproductive health care.
If you or your partner is Indigenous, we encourage you to access funding for a doula during your birth and/or postpartum via the Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant Program. (You can hire a doula of any cultural background but, let us know if you would like the names of local Indigenous doulas.)
Today, I went through my list of clients and, for each of my Indigenous clients, I spent some time reflecting on their powerful births, their accomplishments, their challenges and their joys and wishing them well wherever they find themselves now. You know who you are and I am humbled and grateful that you chose me as your midwife. Some have kept in touch and are doing amazing things. For example, the photo on this post was taken by one such client who is an incredible doula and now working with youth in schools. You can follow her on Instagram at SacredBirthDoulaBC. While another past client was involved in organizing this powerful event in her community yesterday:
If you are a settler and you haven't watched this film, Bones of Crows, I recommend you see it.