NACM Mission and Vision

Mission

The National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) exists to promote excellence in reproductive health care for Inuit, First Nations, and Métis women. We advocate for the restoration of midwifery education, the provision of midwifery services, and choice of birthplace for all Aboriginal communities consistent with the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As active members of the Canadian Association of Midwives, we represent the professional development and practice needs of Aboriginal midwives to the responsible health authorities in Canada and the global community.

NACM Vision

Aboriginal midwives working in every Aboriginal community

large_lindsay.JPG

Core Values

Recognizing that the good health and well-being of Aboriginal mothers and their babies is crucial to the empowerment of Aboriginal families and communities, Aboriginal midwives uphold the following Core Values:

  • HEALING: Aboriginal midwives enhance the capacity of a community to heal from historical and ongoing traumas, addictions, and violences. Aboriginal midwives draw from a rich tradition of language, Indigenous knowledge, and cultural practice as they work with women to restore health to Aboriginal families and communities.
  • RESPECT: Aboriginal midwives respect birth as a healthy physiologic process and honour each birth as a spiritual journey.
  • AUTONOMY: Aboriginal women, families and communities have the inherent right to choose their caregivers and to be active decision makers in their health care.
  • COMPASSION: Aboriginal midwives act as guides and compassionate caregivers in all Aboriginal communities, rural, urban and remote. The dignity of Aboriginal women is upheld through the provision of kind, considerate and respectful services.
  • BONDING: Well-being is based on an intact mother and baby bond that must be supported by families, communities and duty bearers in health and social service systems.
  • BREASTFEEDING: Aboriginal midwives uphold breastfeeding as sacred medicine for the mother and baby that connects the bodies of women to the sustaining powers of our mother earth.
  • CULTURAL SAFETY: Aboriginal midwives create and protect the sacred space in which each woman, in her uniqueness, can feel safe to express who she is and what she needs.
  • CLINICAL EXCELLENCE: Aboriginal midwives uphold the standards and principles of exemplary clinical care for women and babies throughout the lifecycle. This includes reproductive health care, well woman and baby care and the creation of sacred, powerful spaces for Aboriginal girls, women, families, and communities.
  • EDUCATION: Aboriginal midwifery education and practice respects diverse ways of knowing and learning, is responsive to Aboriginal women, families and communities and must be accessible to all who choose this pathway.
  • RESPONSIBILITY: Aboriginal midwives are responsible for upholding the above values through reciprocal and equal relationships with women, families and their communities.

History of NACM

Since 2002, Aboriginal midwives from across Canada have come together almost every year, usually in association with the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM)'s annual conference, to share and plan for the future of midwifery in Aboriginal communities. The Aboriginal midwives recognized that there was a need to establish a collective voice as Aboriginal women working in their communities, and that this would be crucial in supporting the development of midwifery and Aboriginal midwifery in Aboriginal communities across Canada. NACM was officially established on November 11, 2008 at the third annual Aboriginal midwives’ Gathering in Quebec City. NACM has chosen to be an umbrella organization under the CAM and has a status that is equivalent to other provincial and territorial midwifery associations.

NACM’s membership consists of approximately seventy Aboriginal midwives, midwife Elders, and student midwives. Members of NACM include both registered midwives, and trained midwives practicing under certain exemption clauses of provincial health legislation. NACM is made up of a diverse group of midwives from all regions of Canada, representing First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.