Healthy Beginnings, Supportive Communities, A Strong Future: Métis Maternal-Child Health
In 2009, the Métis Centre met with Métis in different parts of Canada to share and collect stories, teachings and information about maternal-child well-being. Our objective with this project was to collect and share experiences, traditions and health information for the benefit of Métis families.
After meeting with Métis midwives, health professionals, Elders and parents across the country, we have created a DVD entitled Healthy Beginnings, Supportive Communities: A Strong Future. Themes discussed in the DVD include, among others, cultural continuity, birthing options, historical birthing practices, breastfeeding, self-care for pregnant women, and the role of community in raising children.
Healthy Messages: Where it all began
Our Healthy Messages project in British Columbia showed that Métis often connect physical health with broader determinants such as income, housing, spirituality, and community. Maternal-child health is seen as connected to both the health of the family and the health of the community.
The Healthy Messages project also uncovered feelings of loss expressed by new Métis mothers who were struggling to connect with their culture. Pregnancy and motherhood was seen as a time of connection with one’s heritage, and the loss of Métis historical knowledge and Métis ways of knowing was significant and painful.
It was in response to the voices of the women at these gatherings that the Métis Centre launched this project.
For more information, contact Anna Burnstein.