The National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) exists to promote excellence in reproductive health care for Inuit, First Nations, and Metis women. We advocate for the restoration of midwifery education, the provision of midwifery services, and choice of birthplace for all Aboriginal communities, consistent with the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As active members of the Canadian Association of Midwives, we represent the professional development and practice needs of Aboriginal midwives to the responsible health authorities in Canada and the global community.
I will never forget the story of one young urban Aboriginal mother who reported that her grandmother had attended her hospital birth in a major Canadian city. In the quiet moments of the woman’s labor when hospital staff were absent from her side, her grandmother guided her through her unmedicated birth using song, touch, and herb tea.