Access to midwifery services for Indigenous communities in Quebec


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Basile, Suzy, Comat, Ioana et Cornellier, Frédérique (2023). Access to midwifery services for Indigenous communities in Quebec. Repéré dans Depositum à (Non publié)

[thumbnail of Final Report-Access to midwifery services-October 2023.pdf]
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The ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) has expressed its intention of implementing one of the measures included in the 2017-2022 action plan developed by the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones (SAA), Do More, Do Better: Government Action Plan for the Social and Cultural Development of the First Nations and Inuit, a set of 119 initiatives organized in four strategic priorities. Measure 1.1.15 aims to “develop access to the services of midwives in non-treaty Aboriginal communities” (SAA, 2017, p. 47). In order to address this measure as well as the critical need to improve health care for Indigenous women, the MSSS approached the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Women's Issues at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) to conduct research on the access to midwifery services of Indigenous communities in Quebec. Conducted in collaboration with the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC), this research is the first step towards the implementation of this government measure (measure 1.1.15) .
The main objective of this research is to produce knowledge conducive to an improved access to midwifery services for Indigenous women and families in the said non-treaty communities in Quebec. The objective also includes an understanding of Indigenous women’s needs in terms of culturally relevant and safe perinatal monitoring, the facilitating factors and the obstacles encountered in accessing these. The findings are intended, in particular, as tools for government and Indigenous authorities (Indigenous communities, FNQLHSSC, Regroupement des centres d'amitié autochtones du Québec [RCAAQ], etc.) in the deployment of midwifery services that are in line with the needs and aspirations of the various Indigenous communities in Quebec.
The health of Indigenous women in Quebec and Canada is marked by colonialism. Colonial policies have targeted Indigenous women in many ways, either through the control over their bodies, the devaluation of their roles within their societies, the eradication of their roles as educators through the mandatory attendance of residential schools, and the non-recognition of their place within their traditional land. Today, Indigenous women are affected by these numerous attempts at eradication. Indigenous midwifery knowledge, traditionally present throughout the Americas and elsewhere in the world, has been devalued in favour of biomedicine and the over-medicalization of pregnancies. Traditional birthing rituals have been stigmatized, and the Indigenous experience of motherhood has been adversely affected. As a result, pregnant women are faced with significant difficulties, of which the obligation of travelling long distances for pregnancy follow-ups and to give birth, and therefore isolating them from their families, their communities and their land.
In the wake of the events surrounding the tragic death, on September 28, 2020, of Ms. Joyce Échaquan, an Atikamekw woman from the Manawan community, Joyce’s Principle was developed to “guarantee to all Indigenous people the right of equitable access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services, as well as the right to enjoy the best possible physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health” (CNA & CAM, 2020, p. 14). Inspired by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN, 2007), this principle brings back to the forefront the necessary recognition of and respect for Indigenous peoples' traditional health-related knowledge.

Type de document: Rapport de recherche
Informations complémentaires: Rapport de recherche
Mots-clés libres: Indigenous, Quebec, midwifery
Divisions: Chaires de recherche > Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les enjeux relatifs aux femmes autochtones
Date de dépôt: 07 nov. 2023 18:34
Dernière modification: 14 nov. 2023 13:38

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