CBHSSJB launches Cree midwifery program in Eeyou Istchee

The Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB) has launched a Cree midwifery program in Eeyou Istchee. The program will teach Cree learners to assist women as they give birth in their own communities. The program is offered through Quebec’s Midwives Act and uses curriculum from Nunavik’s Inuulitsiviup Nutarataatitsijingita Ilisarningata Aulagusinga. Students will learn both traditional and modern techniques, and will have the opportunity to learn from Elders through interviews. The only requirements for joining the program are the ability to read and write in English and personal qualities such as patience and the ability to act quickly. Any Cree woman can apply to the program, which will be hosted in the communities of Chisasibi, Waskaganish and Mistissini. “We’re talking about starting birth assistants at level two because that brings us to our goal faster and opens up space for other people,” said the program’s planning, programming and research officer Jasmine Chatelain. “We all need to do what we can to graduate as many midwives as quickly as we can.”

The Star