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September 20, 2018 5:27 AM   Subscribe

Manitoba Indigenous Doula Initiative Empowers Women, Helps Keep Kids Out of Welfare System.

When Dawn Lavand, who grew up in Winnipeg in foster care and disconnected from her Cree and Ojibwe heritage, gave birth at the age of 21, she didn’t have any other indigenous people present. “I thought if I surrounded myself with enough white people, then I wouldn’t have a social worker come visit me and take away my baby,” she said.
posted by poffin boffin (2 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
As a non-clinical healthcare worker in Manitoba, we constantly see the brass talking the talk about initiatives for Indigenous inclusion and fairness in the healthcare system so this is a nice practical step to see being taken.

The reality, however, is that the systemic racism in this province is deeply ingrained in the individuals who make up so much of the workforce. I come to the office every day and see homeless and destitute First Nations people in the park in front of my office building and the comments you overhear from people actively and aggressively ignoring them can be hair-raising.

Steps like this are welcome but it will be generations before substantial improvements are seen in patient outcomes because it will be generations before enough non-First Nations people give a shit.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 5:52 AM on September 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

This is awesome as a stop gap, but Manitoba needs to get their midwifery education program back. The Ontario MEP has a stream for indigenous midwives; Manitoba doesn’t need to re-invent the (medicine) wheel to get their program back up and running, but the Manitoba government does need to fund it. Ironically, midwives/doulas are so much cheaper than colonial, medicalised births, but the issue isn’t really about money. It is about keeping women, especially indigenous women, in their place.
posted by saucysault at 9:57 AM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

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