Cree Board of Health, Social Services of James Bay announces program to train Cree midwives

The Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay has announced that it is creating a program that will train Cree midwives. The program seeks to return birthing to the territory and enable community members who would like to become midwives but are unable to leave the community for training. The program will pair students with a midwife, healthcare provider, or knowledge-keeper, and will use Indigenous ways of learning to train students. The program is modelled after Nunavik’s Inuulitsiviup Nutarataatitsijingita Ilisarningata Aulagusinga (INIA) education program, which has good outcomes. The program will take up to five and a half years to complete, and may begin as early as June 2022. “It will have really positive ripple effects throughout the community in ways that you can’t even imagine,” said Jasmine Chatelain, the planning, programming and research officer with Cree health’s Eeyou Istchee midwifery education program. “Eeyou Istchee always had midwives, and it’s time to restore that.”