Women's Vision of Midwifery-led Maternity Services for Fort Smith

The community of Fort Smith, NWT is a unique community that is comprised of Smith Landing First Nations, Salt River First Nations, the Fort Smith M?tis Council as well as a non-Aboriginal population. Fort Smith has been managing the issue of community based birthing for years yet most children are currently born in urban cities such as Edmonton or Yellowknife due to lack of local services. The absence of mothers from the family and the community weeks prior to the child?s birth creates an emotional, social and fiscal strain that could be changed.

The ACADRE Network worked with Fort Smith through an evaluation visit to another successful community-based Aboriginal birthing program in Six Nations reserve, Ontario to evaluate their birthing program and to gain information to mold and strengthen their own local birthing services. They have formed a collaborative research team that includes Health and Social Services representatives, local midwives, mothers, fathers and students from the local college. The outcomes of the visit to Six Nations led to the development of a research project to gather women?s vision of what midwifery means to them and to the community and how they wish to see midwifery-led maternity services offered in Fort Smith in the future. This research project has received seed funding from the Alberta ACADRE Network in March 2004 and is currently in the data collection phase.

(Active since 2003)