Support our 2019 campaign for Indigenous Birthworkers! We're gratefully accepting e-transfers at firstname.lastname@example.org. (For the security question, use the question who is fundraising? and the answer: surjto. Feel free to tell us, in the messages section of the transfer, where you found out about this work.)
Doula collectives like Odemin Giizis and the Ocama Collective are critical in shattering colonial violence. Doulas are non-medical birthing companions who offer emotional and physical care before, during and after childbirth. With birth work that is entirely centred on traditional Indigenous values and practices, Odemin Giizis and the Ocama Collective provide compassionate, culturally safe care that fundamentally changes the birth journey for Indigenous folks who are or can be pregnant. Their work is a direct form of decolonization and Indigenous reclamation that positively impacts Indigenous families and communities.
Since colonization, Indigenous communities across Turtle Island have been forcibly disconnected from traditional birthwork practices and subjected to obstetric violence. This violence continues in multiple forms today including the pathologizing of Indigenous peoples’ bodies, forced or coerced use of Western medicine, procedures and health settings, over-involvement of child welfare services and more. As a result of centuries of colonization and systemic racism, birth outcomes among Indigenous peoples are considerably less favourable than among non-Indigenous populations.