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There’s a growing revival of Indigenous midwifery –

by ahnationtalk on May 15, 2018124 Views

May 15, 2018

Rachel Dennis Couchie is helping to improve the birth experience for Indigenous mothers. The Nipissing First Nation midwife is a partner (along with her mother, Carol Couchie) in K’Tigaaning Midwives. They’re providing “culturally appropriate” services through their clinics on Nipissing First Nation and in Powassan. They assist with about 90 births annually.

“It can mean a lot of things for different people,” says Dennis Couchie. “It can mean something as simple as being able to ask about teachings that have to do with pregnancy, with birth. You can smudge in the room. We’ve had a grandmother build a sacred fire outside while the daughter was birthing in the clinic.”

Dennis Couchie and K’Tigaaning Midwives were recently included in a story published in Chatelaine magazine about how Indigenous midwives are bringing birthing back home. The article spoke to the reality of many Indigenous women who are forced to leave their home communities to give birth.

“We tend to be the receiving practice for more northern communities. People know about us and they’ll choose North Bay because word is getting out that there is a culturally appropriate midwifery care place.

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