Association of Ontario Midwives Indigenous Self-Identity Statement
The Indigenous Midwifery (IM) Team at the AOM has drafted the following Indigenous Identity Statement with the intention that this statement will evolve based on the insights and suggestions of Indigenous midwives.
Demographic information for all members of the AOM is collected to better advance and advocate for midwifery in Ontario. All the information we collect is protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The AOM is committed to achieving equity within the midwifery workforce. To help us describe existing Indigenous midwifery practice, we ask all members if they are Indigenous, Black, and/or racialized to monitor representation, retention and leadership in Ontario midwifery. We aim to align our demographic questionnaire with the existing national Census categories to better advance equity within our membership across other midwifery associations in Canada.
As part of its racial equity initiative, the AOM has identified the need to collect annual data on racial representation, retention, and leadership in the Ontario midwifery profession. Collected data will be used to identify disparities and implement interventions to improve racial equity in the midwifery profession. A biennial review of the data will take place to enable consistent comparative analyses and will facilitate the monitoring of trends and changes in the profession over time. The AOM recognizes variances in midwives’ preferences about specifying their racial/ethnic identity. As a result, a simplified question is included to enable limited data analysis and a more detailed question to further detail data analysis. To learn more about the reasons behind the collection of this data, please Click Here.
Self-identifying as an Indigenous Person
The Indigenous Midwifery (IM) Team at the AOM supports Indigenous midwives who work in Ontario through advocacy, policy development and change, information sharing, ceremony, funding support and any other types of supports and services requested by Indigenous midwives. The IM Team does not provide clinical skills training, though we can provide contact information to assist you.
As a group within the AOM, the IM Team is deeply committed to supporting Indigenous midwives and Indigenous communities to bring safe, evidence-informed sexual and reproductive care to Indigenous people whether it be in urban, rural or remote settings. Indigenous midwifery services are more than clinical skills. Indigenous midwives incorporate Nation-specific teachings, ceremonies and languages that honour Indigenous Peoples. We want Indigenous midwifery to be re-established in all Indigenous communities.
We are currently at a time in which identifying as Indigenous has been appropriated by non-Indigenous people for the sake of benefitting from initiatives, access and funding that are meant to address historical and current inequities, discrimination, policies, programs and funding opportunities. These challenges are not just within the AOM. Organizations throughout Canada are grappling with self-identification and the harms that come from non-Indigenous people claiming spaces, funding and positions reserved for Indigenous Peoples.
We also recognize that not all Indigenous people know their family and community history because of displacement via the Indian Residential School system, the Indian Day Schools, the Sixties Scoop and the ongoing Millennial Scoop, for example.
It is for these reasons we ask that if you identify as an Indigenous person, please share a little about yourself. If you would prefer to meet with one of the IM Team members to answer identity questions, please let us know.
We want to make clear that the AOM and the IM Team are not granting or confirming Indigenous identity, which is a nation's responsibility. The AOM is not a Nation but a provincial, professional organization.
We ask questions about identity to protect sacred birthwork and birthworkers and the resources we have to support them.