Commitment to Reconciliation
At Passages Midwifery, we recognize that our practice and those we serve are on Treaty 6 land, the traditional territory of many Indigenous peoples, and in particular our neighbours, Paul First Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, and Alexander Cree Nation.
Passages Midwifery is committed to the resurgence of Indigenous midwifery, and grateful to be able to offer our services to Indigenous families in our area.
We strive to offer culturally safe, knowledgeable care, and endeavour to support our clients in designing their own birth experience that aligns with their own cultural and spiritual beliefs. Despite the shortage of midwives in this region, we will always consider First Nations families a priority, and accept Indigenous families into care whenever we have space.
Like many other settler Canadians, we were horrified at the discovery of a mass grave containing the remains of 215 children in Kamloops, British Columbia; and the 104 remains found in Brandon, Manitoba; the 38 found in Regina, and the 35 from Lestock, Saskatchewan; and the knowledge that there are so many more still undiscovered, waiting to go home. We have been struggling to find the right words, and the right statement, to release to the public, knowing that thoughts and prayers have never been, nor ever will be, enough. We recognize that survivors of residential schools and their families have been crying out for justice for decades, often to deaf ears. All levels of government have yet to commit to any acts of reconciliation. So we ask ourselves…what would more words and symbolic gestures achieve, other than to assuage our own guilt?
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released 94 Calls to Action in 2015, essentially creating a step-by-step manual for governments and settler institutions to work towards the common goal of reconciliation. Despite this great feat, accomplished through the bravery of residential school survivors who shared their stories of physical, sexual, emotional, and spiritual abuse…the Calls to Action have yet to be implemented in any meaningful way.
Bearing all of this in mind, and while waiting for the acknowledgement of at least 4 additional mass grave sites in the greater Edmonton area, Passages Midwifery is making a commitment to tangible action. Under the leadership of new registrant midwife, Melissa Cardinal-Grant, we will be implementing the Calls to Action numbers 18-24, which pertain to the health of Indigenous Peoples. We are currently working on a list of projects and tasks to complete in this regard.
To the grieving Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island: our hearts are heavy at Passages. We weep with you, for the children that were found, for the thousands of others who are yet to be found, and for the ongoing systemic racism you face. But we will also get to work. As a midwifery practice, we may be limited in our ability to create national policy change, but we can hopefully set a precedent for others to follow. For now, we hope that our actions will speak louder than words.