Policy Sectors

Infant and Maternal Health

In the area of infant and maternal health, the Health Unit leads community-based, culturally relevant research to identify needs, gaps, barriers, priorities, and strengths related to Indigenous maternal and child health.

Currently, we are working on two projects:

  1. The Indigenous Maternity Experiences Project uses sharing circles and digital storytelling to research perceptions, practices, and experiences before pregnancy; during pregnancy, labour, and birth; and in the early months of parenthood. The goal of this research is to engage Indigenous Peoples, communities, health care providers, and leadership in conversations about the unique and complex contexts of Indigenous maternal health. This project is in partnership with Dr. Jennifer Leason (Kessis Sagay-Yas Egett Kwé: First Shining Rays of Sunlight Woman) at the University of Calgary and is funded by a SSHRC New Frontiers in Research Grant.
  2. Through our Midwifery Project, NWAC works with community partners to identify the costs and benefits of obstetric (birth) evacuation practices compared to Indigenous midwifery practices in rural, urban, and remote communities. The goal of this research is to recognize best practices to support First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women through reproductive and perinatal health care, and inform perinatal health policies. This project is in partnership with Dr. Jennifer Leason, Dr. Karen Stote, Dr. Ava John-Baptiste, Dr. Naana Juma, Dr. Janet Smylie, the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, and Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada. It is funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research.