As an organisation, NACM stands in solidarity with you, the Nishiyuu Walkers. You have not sat idly by when you felt that your land and your culture was threatened; when you realized that Indigenous peoples need to unite together towards the common cause of protecting our lands and waters—you took action. We commend this bold and pure-hearted action. You set an amazing example for the rest of us and we extend heartfelt gratitude to you for your daily sacrifices and the physical, emotional, and psychological hard work that goes into such an arduous journey. Again, as with the Idle No More movement, we are reminded of the strength that exists in Indigenous sovereignty itself.
We were pleased that Aboriginal midwife-in-training, Mandy Commonda, and her midwife colleague Jasmine Chatelain were able to organize a welcoming reception for the walkers in Wakefield, Quebec, and have joined others in helping the walkers with food and other needed support in order to complete their journey. The midwives of Ottawa have also released a letter of support for the walkers and as many as possible intend to greet them upon their arrival. Perhaps this journey has touched a chord with midwives in that it resembles so much a long labour which slowly but surely, through suffering, endurance, and patience, results in a birth. But for the Nishiyuu Walkers this birth is a profound and inspiring birth of spirit, of consciousness, of awareness mixed with life-giving action. We call for widespread awareness and support for the important mission of the Nishiyuu Walkers. Please click here for more information.
NACM is a diverse group of midwives from all regions of Canada, representing First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. We recognize that the good health and well-being of Aboriginal mothers and their babies is crucial to the empowerment of Aboriginal families and communities. 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.
In addition, we commend and support all actions and movements to increase the good health and vitality of the Indigenous peoples of this land.
If you require any additional support or information that NACM can provide, please do not hesitate to contact Valerie Perrault, administrator, at [email protected] or 514 807-3668.
Kerry Bebee (co-chair) and Nathalie Pambrun (co-chair)
on behalf of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives