Ontario is improving access to culturally appropriate child and maternity care for more Indigenous people across the province.
Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at Dilico Family Health Team Clinic in Fort William First Nation today to announce that two new Aboriginal Midwives will be hired to provide culturally appropriate child and maternity care to up to 30 Indigenous women and their children in the community over the next three years. Aboriginal Midwives provide a full range of culturally safe midwifery primary care, support services, language and community education.
In addition, the government is supporting the establishment of the following Aboriginal Midwifery programs across the province:
- K’Tigaaning Midwives, Powassan
- Kenhte:ke Midwives, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory
- Onkwehon:we Midwives, Akwesasne
- Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre, Sudbury
- Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, London.
To help people connect more easily with these services, many of the Aboriginal Midwifery programs will work in existing health care teams with family doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers and traditional healers, and will develop strong links with local primary care health services in their area. Ontario is also offering development grants to organizations across the province to explore how Aboriginal Midwifery services could be established in their communities.
Supporting culturally appropriate health care and wellness in Indigenous communities is one of the many steps on Ontario’s journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the Ontario government’s commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.
Investing in Indigenous child and maternity care is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to live healthy, and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.