Bachelor of Health and Sciences in Indigenous Midwifery
The Indigenous Midwifery program, another integral Indigenous education opportunity, will increase access to culturally safe midwifery care in Ontario. Indigenous midwives will support the health and well-being of Indigenous women, babies, families and communities, offering choices for Indigenous Peoples to deliver and receive care on their traditional lands. The comprehensive stand-alone Indigenous Midwifery degree will be four years in length and bring a traditional Indigenous model of care to the forefront.
This Indigenous education program’s approach and curriculum is rooted in Indigenous worldviews, which recognize that Onkwehón:we* midwives provide primary care during the prenatal period, labour, delivery and up to six weeks postpartum. Services include puberty teachings, sex education, pre-conception care, pregnancy, birthing, post-natal/post-partum care, traditional parenting, well-woman and well-baby care, and much more.
Indigenous midwives practice under the exemption for Aboriginal midwives in the Midwifery Act, 1991, which is also defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, recognizing the right of Onkwehón:we midwives to practice autonomously with Indigenous women, babies, families and communities. In 2017, Indigenous midwives were granted access to similar funding streams as registered midwives with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
*Onkwehón:we is an Indigenous term referring to ‘human beings and all of life – earth, water, plants, vegetables, trees, animals, rocks, winds, sun, moon, stars, and spirit world.’