Module 1

Module 1:

History and Context

This module provides a foundational overview of the history and context of birth in an Indigenous context. This includes an overview of Indigenous birthing practices, how these practices have been impacted by colonization, and racism in the healthcare setting.  
Learning objectives: 
  • Understand the history and importance of birth in Indigenous contexts. 
  • Describe the traditional roles and training for Indigenous midwives and doulas. 
  • Recognize the impacts of colonization on healthcare delivery and the birthing experience for Indigenous families. 
  • Reflect on what reconciliation in the birthing practice may look like, and what the role of the doula is in supporting this. 
  • Recognize of what racism in the healthcare setting might look like, and understand how racism in the healthcare setting impacts the birthing experience for Indigenous families. 
  • Reflect on ways that doulas can intervene, support, and advocate for Indigenous families if experiences of racism occur. 
Outline of topics:
Indigenous birth – The history of Indigenous birth in communities, the historical role of Indigenous midwives and doulas, and the importance and meaning behind traditional birthing practices, customs, and medicines.  
Colonization and the impacts on Indigenous birth and health delivery – The impacts of colonization to healthcare delivery in communities, including the impacts to traditional practices, and impacts to families. This includes an overview of what it means to reclaim traditional practices, and the importance of understanding the ceremonial aspect of birth in this context. 
Racism in the healthcare setting – Understanding racism in the hospital and healthcare delivery setting, including what this may entail, and how experiences interacting with these systems may be different for everyone. This includes a discussion on the implications of racism in the healthcare setting, and the role of a doula in these circumstances.