SURJ Toronto friends and family kicked off summer 2019 at the SURJ Toronto Family Dance Party to raise $5000 for local Indigenous birth workers, with the goal to fund full doula care for 5 pregnant people.
The afternoon was full of fun music and a quiet room with activities. All proceeds were split between two doula collectives working to support racialized communities in the city — the Ocama Collective and Odemin Giizis.
We’re still accepting donations to hit our $5000 goal, you can donate via e-transfer to Surjto.email@example.com please give what is a meaningful amount to you, whether that's $5 or $100
(Question: who is fundraising for Indigenous birthworkers?" Answer: surjto)
Check out pics from the event below.
**About The Ocama Collective** Ocama Collective is a community-directed group of birth workers of colour, living and working in Tkaronto (Toronto), who are dedicated to the reclamation of traditional and holistic childbearing and birthing practices, amongst IBPOC folx. Ocama means “listen” in Taino-Arawak, a language of the Indigenous peoples from the islands known today as the Caribbean and South America (Abya Yala). Inspired by this indigenous word, this Collective views birthwork as unique as each pregnancy, birth plan, and birth care, to “listen” not only with our ears, but with heart and spirit, to each individual and baby that enters our circle of care.
This Collective seeks to create access to full-circle and community based birth care, as an imperative factor in reducing infant mortality, improving childbearing/birth satisfaction, and supporting maternal/parental physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. This is actioned through creating access to subsidized/free pregnancy and birth care, increased access to community-based resources for daily living and health, and revitalizing ceremonial and ritual based practices that are deeply interwoven in our communities’ mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual support.
It is a key goal for this Collective, to facilitate safe space for 2S, trans, queer, non-binary, genderqueer, and agender folx, to fully engage in pregnancy and birth care that is self-directed, holistic, and satisfactory. This Collective stands and operates in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, the original stewards of this land we call Canada, in reclaiming sovereignty rights and shifting the narrative to one of decolonization and indigenizing our worldview.
Ocama Collective was founded by Najla Nubyanluv, Jen Maramba, Jennifer Arango, Cassandra Thompson & Nayani Thiyagarajah