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Midwifery and Birthing

ᓂᔒᔨᔨᐤ ᐙᐱᒫᐅᓲᐎᓐ

Eeyou/Eenou babies have been born on Eeyou Istchee since the beginning of time. For the past decades, the women had to leave their communities to give birth. By celebrating the birth of children amidst their loved ones, it will strengthen family bonds. Bringing birth back into the fold of the Cree Nation with midwives and providing Waapimaausuwin teachings will contribute to the healing from the historical interruption in order to build strong Eeyou/Eenou people from the beginning of the life cycle.

Eeyou/Eenou Elders have identified this knowledge; the Nishiiyuu Waapimaausuwinservices is critical to Cree identity, resilience, health and to sustain that life through birth and spirit. It focuses on the meaning of being born and spirit. It is to restore something that was there before: the knowledge developed by the Eeyou/Eenou known to foster good health for women and babies. This knowledge creates the foundation for a Eeyou/Eenou Way of Life.  

Since September 10th 2018, the healthy women having a normal pregnancy will have the choice to be followed by a midwife based in Chisasibi in collaboration with the Awash Services and Waapimaausuwin program. They will be able to decide to give birth in the following months in Chisasibi, on the land of Eeyou/Eenou Istchee.

In the future, three birthing home will be constructed in Eeyou Istchee in three communities: Chisasibi, Waskaganish and Mistissini. The birthing home will be supportive of birthing as a spiritual, emotional, physical and mental event. It will be a home-like place rooted in its community.

The Board of Directors of the CBHSSJB has approved a plan and included the following objectives in its Strategic Regional Plan 2016-2021:

  • Bring back birthing to Eeyou Istchee
  • Implement midwifery services for pregnant women
  • Offering the choice to women of their perinatal care provider
  • Bring the Eeyou/Eenou perspective and traditional knowledge into all aspects of care
  • Train Eeyou/Eenou women to become registered midwives 
  • Build Birth Centres in Chisasibi, Waskaganish and Mistissini
  • Develop the role of midwives in the six communities without resident midwife
  • Implement a risk management program/simulation centres for training with MOREOB
  • Create an evaluation process for the program and reporting on care.

If you are pregnant and healthy and you are interested to see a midwife, we encourage you to ask your health care provider to get in touch with the midwifery team in Chisasibi.

Contact us / get involved

  • To participate in the local advisory committee on Waapimaausuwin and Midwifery, contact the Nishiiyuu Department or Midwifery Services
  • For information about services for pregnant women and young families, visit the Awash section of our website including the Maternal and Child Health Program.
  • To enquire about a midwife contract with the CBHSSJB, contact Human Resources.

Midwifery Services and Waapimaausuwin contacts:

Doris Bobbish
Human Relation Officer, Nishiiyuu Miyupimaatisiiuun

Clara Cooper
Planning, programming and research officer, Nishiiyuu Miyupimaatisiiuun

Jessyka Boulanger
Head of Midwifery Services

Partner Links

Canadian remote and indigenous midwifery programs: