Via facebook, information about an Aboriginal Doula Training in British Columbia this May.
I’m always on the look out for new doula trainings, and this one also hits a theme I think is so important–training members of marginalized communities to provide doula care to those in their own communities.
Doulas, by the way, are not a modern invention. The term “doula” used in the way we do certainly is, but the practice of trained people supporting folks during labor certainly is not. Perhaps I’m repeating myself, but before birth was the domain of doctors and hospitals, most people gave birth in their communities, with the help of family and trained support people, midwives, healers, etc.
Native and First Nations communities have experienced extreme violence in the form of genocide on behalf of North American governments, colonizers and people. This history shows up in the horrific rates of violence, maternal and fetal mortality, substance abuse, among other things. Raeanne Madison wrote about the importance of doula care in Native communities in this guest post, so I’m glad to see it being promoted (and funded) by Canadian institutions.
There was a 2010 report about the impact of doula care in First Nations communities in BC. There is even a “Aboriginal Doula Advisory Committee.” I am excited by the power of the doula model of care to allow community members to serve one another. You don’t have to be an outsider to be a doula–in fact, being a member of the community likely makes your work as a doula a thousand times better. This sums it up pretty well:
“For First Nations families, doulas have the potential to make positive contributions to situations where women are birthing away from their home communities,” NAHO said. “They can act as communicators and advocates for the birthing family, and can facilitate incorporating traditional practices into the childbirth process, if the family desires this.”
The deadline to apply for the training is February 24. All costs are covered by the program. Details here.
For a list of doula trainings, check out my resource page.