GAAODAAPINAAWASOWAD “Those that Assist Mothers in Delivering Babies.”
HD. Directed by Jesse Green. 2014; Winnipeg, MB: Grand Council Treaty 3 and Strongfront.tv, 2014.
Treaty 3 – Anishnaabek of various communities
Communities within Grand Council of Treaty 3 are striving to reclaim traditions encircling Midwifery. By honoring the mother/child connection and exploring traditions and belief systems that have been dormant, the community and in particular women, are empowered. Midwifery is cited as a moral issue, as Anishnaabe worldview deems the child sacred at conception. Discourse on birth, pregnancy, breastfeeding, rites of passage for women, and healthy sexuality are profound and foster a sense of self and cultural esteem. Historical midwifery practices are remembered and celebrated for their expertise, knowledge and traditions. For example, 2 midwives would be in attendance for a birth, breach babies and a tangled umbilical cord could be corrected, and medicine water was used for hemorrhaging and other problems. Ceremonies involving the placenta, umbilical cord, family attendance during the birthing process, and the importance of having the child’s name and clan in place are also discussed. Reviving these traditions and situating them within contemporary experiences are part of an ongoing vision within the community and crucial for maintaining strong circles of women.
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