To highlight the work CREation Grantees are doing in their communities, the CREation Community Grants Team sends out Q&A forms so they can share their experiences creating and carrying out their projects. Today we are featuring responses from Bonnita Preston, Emily Asham, and Billy-Lee McIntyre of Red Tent of the Prairies – Indigenous Birth Project.
Community: Across Saskatchewan and Manitoba (based out of Saskatoon)
Q : Tell us about your group and project!
A : We are an Indigenous-led initiative helping womxn reconnect to ancient cultural teachings through providing access to education, resources and community.
Q : As the youth running the project, what impact do you hope it will have?
A : We envision Mother Earth as a place where Indigenous womxn walk empowered in their own sovereignty and embody traditional places of honour.
Q : What is something you have learned?
A : Indigenous birth keepers have faced centuries of erasure, suppression, and delegitimization. Colonization in Canada is currently causing Indigenous mothers to face high rates of birth trauma, complications, racism, and discrimination.
Research into Indigenous midwifery shows how all these problems can be mitigated when women have access to culturally safe information and services.
A lot of Indigenous teachings are passed down orally; record everything you learn because you will never hear these Indigenous teachings being spoke of in the same way ever again.Participant feedback
Q : Is there anything else about your project that you would like to share?
A : Some of the resources this project will soon have available on our website include:
- Digital Vlog Series: Amplifying voices of indigenous mothers, sacred birth keepers, and elders.
- Cultural Archive: Archiving indigenous traditions of ceremonial birth.
- Culture Exchange: Virtually connecting indigenous birth keepers in Canada and Guatemala to share and preserve tradition.
We are so proud of the heart-work our young relatives like Bonnita Preston, Emily Asham, and Billy-Lee McIntyre from the Red Tent of the Prairies team are doing across Turtle Island and are so lucky to be able to support them in their work.