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"Birth, a Joyous Community Event! -

Nutaraqtaarniq Nunalingnirmiunut Alianaippuq!"

Photos: Ed Maruyama Webcast of May 12, 2009

Watch the 2-hour episode:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Note: the videos may take up to 60 seconds to start playing

Watch short videos here

Read the transcript here

Order a free copy of the DVD

Credits: Full list of those involved in the production of this TV Series

Panel members were Elashuk Pauyungie, Natsiq Kango, Dr. Madeline Cole, Akinisie Qumaluk, Martha Greig, and Annie Buchan.

Panel Members:

  • Annie Buchan, Community Health Representative, Taloyoak
    Elashuk Pauyungie, Elder, Salluit
    Martha Greig, Qajaq Men's Network, Kuujjuaq
    Natsiq Kango, President of Midwives Association of Nunavut, Iqaluit
    Akinisie Qumaluk, Midwife

Photos from left to right: Elashuk Pauyungie, Natsiq Kango, Dr. Madeline Cole, Akinisie Qumaluk, Martha Greig, and Annie Buchan.

Photo by: Ed Maruyama

Why focus on good maternity care? Why talk about the role of midwives and maternity care workers?


  • Every child deserves the best start possible and that begins with good pre-natal care.
  • Good maternity care contributes to the health of the whole family because mothers and babies are healthier.
  • When pregnant Inuit women and their families are cared for by Inuit maternity care workers and Inuit midwives, their care is delivered in their own language and is respectful of Inuit culture and values.
  • Having Inuit midwives and maternity care workers in the community keeps Inuit traditions of birthing alive!


What are our communications goals?


The goal of the maternity care TV show is to share information about Inuit birthing and care, and encourage greater use of and more access to community-based maternity and midwifery care in all Inuit regions.

What will you see on "Nutaraqtaarniq Nunalingnirmiunut Alianaippuq - Birth, a joyous community event"?

You will watch a lively discussion with a panel of experts and callers to the show. You will hear about successful maternity care and midwifery programs that are making a difference in Inuit communities.

You will also see four pre-recorded videos that showcase good maternity care and midwifery in Inuit communities and one on the "Qanuippitali? Inuit Health Survey.

Inuit Health SurveyQanuippitali? Inuit Health Survey:

Watch video clip here >>

Viewers will see footage about the first major survey of the health of Inuit living in Nunavut, the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Nunatsiavut. For the "Qanuippitali? Inuit Health Survey", health workers and researchers travelled by ship to Inuit communities to survey adults and children about their health and wellness Viewers will see videos from each of the voyages and meet some of the people who took part in the health survey. In addition, people on the panel will provide more information about some of the questions that were asked of Inuit women who were 18 and older.


kaktovik maternal careCommunity Health Practitioner Program - Kaktovik Maternal Care (Alaska):

Watch video clip here >>

The Community Health Practitioner Program in Alaska is important to the region’s Inuit population, the Inupiat. The program’s  goal is to provide maternity care that respects Inupiat culture and  and healing practices. Viewers will meet Glenda Lord, a community health practitioner (CHP) and other Inupiat CHPs. You will see them as they work in the health clinic in Kaktovik, Alaska with mothers and families to make sure women have the healthiest pregnancy possible. 

A still shot from the video about midwifery in GreenlandCommunity Lay-Midwife Program (Greenland):

Watch video clip here >>

Previously, Greenland recruited midwives from Denmark to provide maternity care to women in its hospitals. But recently, Greenland has focused on providing maternity care that better fits with the culture and traditions in Greenland. So, the Greenland Home Rule government created a Greenlandic community lay-midwife program. In this video, you will meet Helene Lennert, a midwife in Sisimiut, who completed her training in 2006-07 in the apprenticeship program for midwives. Helene and the chief medical officer for the Sisimiut hospital talk about what it means for the women and families in Greenland to have access to care in their own language and from a midwife of the same culture.


A still shot from the video about Nunavut midwifery trainingMaternity Care and Midwifery Training (Nunavut):

Watch video clip here >>

You will see how Nunavut is making many improvements to its maternity care and midwifery programs. You will hear about Nunavut Arctic College’s training programs in maternity care and midwifery. These courses are preparing Inuit for careers in these valuable professions. We will take viewers to the Rankin Inlet birthing centre, where Inuit graduates of the maternity care/midwifery program are practicing their profession. You will hear from the maternity care workers and midwives, as well as the people who trained them.

A still shot from the video about Nunavik midwiferyInuit Midwife Apprenticeship Program (Nunavik):

Watch video clip here >>

The Inuit midwife apprenticeship program in Nunavik has been running for 22 years. It is seen as a good training model by Indigenous groups worldwide. You will hear about how this training program was created and how important it is to Inuit midwives, mothers, families and communities in Nunavik. We will introduce you to two accomplished midwives from Nunavik. Brenda Epoo and Aileen Moorhouse completed the apprenticeship program and now have licences to practice midwifery throughout Quebec. Their licences also mean they can be midwives in other parts of Canada. The midwife apprenticeship program in Nunavik is unique because the training is based on traditional Inuit ways of learning and it takes place in an Inuit community. You will see the midwives as they receive their licences at a very special swearing-in ceremony in Quebec City and hear about their journeys to this important accomplishment.


Read the transcript of the full show here >>


Who was involved in the show, "Nutaraqtaarniq Nunalingnirmiunut Alianaippuq - Birth, a joyous community event" ?

A working group made up of people involved in maternity care and midwifery helped to develop the content for this television program. Working group members included*:

  • Aileen Moorhouse, Midwife, Inukjuak
  • Brenda Epoo, Midwife, Inukjuak
  • Ruth Montgomery-Andersen, MPH, Nordic Institute of Greenland
  • Nowyah Williams, Regional co-ordinator of Maternal and Newborn, Rankin Inlet

* not all members of the working group are listed. Those listed here have consented to have their name published.


Who should I contact if I have questions, comments or suggestions about the TV series?

Catherine Carry coordinated the series. Catherine is the Senior Program Officer at Inuit Tuttarvingat of the National Aboriginal Health Organization.

Toll-free: 1-877-602-4445

Telephone: (613) 760-3515

E-mail: ccarry@naho.ca