Supporting traditional Inuit birthing: J4IW partners with Nunavut midwives

An extraordinary project is underway near the Northern tip of Baffin Island in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. This new initiative, led by Inuit women, will have a huge impact on Inuit women and their families and communities. We invite you to help make it happen! 
  Traditional Inuit Midwifery has been all but wiped out by Settler Colonialism. Inuit women in Pond Inlet are working to reclaim their traditional ways of pregnancy, birthing, and childcare through community midwifery. They know that restoring their traditional knowledges and ways of birthing will result in healthier babies, mothers, families, and communities.

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Inuit women who are ready to give birth are removed from their homes and communities in the north to white, urban communities in the south. In the cities to which they’ve been relocated to give birth, they are isolated from the love, care, and respect of their families and traditional Inuit birthing culture. Once Inuit mothers-to-be are hospitalized for the birth of their babies in the south, they often become targets of anti-Indigenous racism not only by the general public, but also by hospital staff putting the lives of both mother and child at risk.
For years, Inuit women in the high Arctic have been victimized by the violence of settler colonialism. Midwifery in Nunavut is under legislation of the government. Nunavut Arctic College used to offer a midwifery program based in Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit, until it lost funding.

Mother and child with midwife Regilee Ootoola

Justice for Indigenous Women (J4IW) recently connected with some of the amazing women leading this life-changing initiative. We are deeply honoured to play a role in providing financial support. We will financially contribute to this community-driven effort in Pond Inlet to help midwives teach community members about midwifery, support Inuit women in pregnancy and birth, and honour Inuit child rearing practices. As Elder, teacher, and community midwife Regilee Ootoola shares, “We have a way of birthing and pregnancy. We know we have our way.”

We invite you to help ensure this project is a success. Our beautiful fund-raising jewellery can be purchased here, and there also are links for donating to J4IW via paypal.

We are so grateful for your support!