Chigamik Launches Biidaaban Doula Collective for Indigenous Families Across North Simcoe Muskoka

November 12, 2018  

Centre de santé communautaire CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre (CSC CHIGAMIK CHC) is pleased to announce the launch of an Indigenous Full Circle Doula Collective called Biidaaban, meaning “Sunrise” in Ojibwe or Tawenti:ne in Haudenosaunee. Funded through The Journey Together: Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the money will directly support Indigenous families in North Simcoe Muskoka to pay for prenatal, birth and postpartum doula services. This initiative was created in response to the Ontario Government’s priority to address the legacy of residential schools, support Indigenous culture, and reconcile relationships with Indigenous peoples. All doulas received traditional birth teachings by Elder and honoured Traditional Healer, Pauline Shirt, and doula certification through Bebo Mia.

Doula care offers a holistic approach to birthing and has been associated with better health outcomes for mother and baby. Chigamik’s Biidaaban Doula Collective is made up of Indigenous doulas who provide emotional, physical, and spiritual support and advocacy for women and families during pregnancy, labour and after birth. The Collective also provides support around reproductive health including, fertility, abortion, perinatal loss, and adoption. Traditional supports include the creation of a birth plan, learning about Indigenous practices, remedies, and ceremonies, and being connected to family, community and nature.

“Indigenous teachings about pregnancy and birth are passed down from generation to generation through watching and learning from elders. However, for many, traditional knowledge sharing has been lost due to colonial policies and interventions,” said Jessica North, Community Health Manager, CSC CHIGAMIK CHC. “We want to provide appropriate and culturally-relevant support needed to reclaim the birthing process for Indigenous women and their communities.”

Through the Doula Collective program, expectant mothers and their families will have access to a birth doula, postpartum doula, overnight support, loss and bereavement care, fertility and reproductive care, as well as navigation to a number of Indigenous resources at Chigamik and externally.

Doula services are free and available to anyone who self-identifies as First Nation, Métis or Inuit across North Simcoe Muskoka, on or off reserve.

For more information about the Biidaaban Doula Collective and to request services with a doula, please visit www.chigamik.ca/Biidaaban-Doula-Collective or contact doulas@chigamik.ca or 705-527-4154. Referrals are not needed.

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About CSC CHIGAMIK CHC

Centre de santé communautaire CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre is a not-for-profit health care service funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, through the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network. It offers bilingual and culturally sensitive care. It encourages persons who identify as First Nations, Francophone, Inuit, Métis or Indigenous and live in North Simcoe Muskoka to register. For more information please visit www.chigamik.ca.

Media Contact:

Louise Picot

Communications, CSC Chigamik CHC

705-606-1549

louise@louisepicot.com