Project: Indigenous women’s reproductive and sexual justice

The purpose of this project was to a) explore how urban Indigenous women define reproductive justice and b) what changes would respect and support their reproductive sovereignty.

Who was involved?

Lead researcher: Holly McKenzie, PhD, University of British Columbia

Guiding Knowledge Keeper: Betty McKenna (Anishnabae from the Shoal River Band #366). You can watch Kookum Betty share a teaching about the seven stones here

Supervisory Committee: Colleen Varcoe, PhD RN (co-supervisor), Dory Nason, PhD (co-supervisor), Mary-Ellen Kelm, PhD

Who was involved?

List of collaborators
Regina
Autumn Sanderson
Cassandra Opikokew Wajuntah
Chasity Delorme
Chris
Christine Smith
Jaqueline Anaquod
Julianne Herney
Jenelle McArthur
Katryna Smith
Leona Quewezance
Matilda Young
Paulete Poitras
Saskatoon
Danielle
Jannica Hoskins
Jennifer Brockman
Jillian Arkles Schwandt
Mary Shorting
Michelle
Mo Mike
Shannon Swiftwolfe
Sharon Acoose
Tori-Lynn Wanotch
Winnipeg
Denise McGillivary
Jasmond Murdock
Jenny
Laverne Gervais
Melissa Brown
Morningson Butterfly Woman-Jaynelle Kennedy
Rebecca Murdock
Tanya
Tatanka Ska Win-Nadine M.

*Some collaborators chose pseudonyms and one collaborator chose not to have any name associated with her participation and quotes

Sharing our study findings:

We are sharing the findings from this study in various ways. Click on any of the resources below to view or download a copy

We created these fact sheets to share information about a) Indigenous women’s reproductive and sexual health rights and b) specific barriers that urban Indigenous women living on these territories deal with. Some of these fact sheets (Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Your Right to Informed Consent for Medical Treatment) address Indigenous rights and patient rights under Canadian law, and other fact sheets (Seeking an Abortion or Termination in Saskatoon area and Manitoba: Some Basic Information for Parents and Guardians about Child Protection and Apprehension) provides general information about navigating these systems.

We recently facilitated a ZOOM presentation to share the study findings on December 15th. If you are interested learning about the project and/or arranging a presentation about the study findings contact McKenzie at hollymckenzie(at)usask.ca for more information or to register.

We will continue to add resources as the results of this study are published in various forms. Check back or get in touch for more information!

Funders: Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (now the Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health) and University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing (Sheena Davidson Research Fund)

The more my reproductive justice is facilitated, the more access my daughter will have to reproductive justice as she grows. If we talk about intergenerational trauma, we also need to talk about intergenerational healing, and we should also talk about reproductive justice as intergenerational.

Jannica Hoskins, Métis and two-spirit collaborator

Some related organizations:

Native Youth Sexual Health Network

Working internationally, the Native Youth Sexual Health Network works with various organizations and communities around sexual and reproductive justice.

Ka Ni Kanichihk

Ka Ni Kanichihk is a non-profit organization in Winnipeg providing Indigenous identified programs and services that focus on wholeness and wellness and that build on the strengths and resilience of Indigenous peoples.  

Zaagi’idiwin

This grassroots organization facilitates Full Spectrum Indigenous Doula Training and educational opportunities about various aspects of reproductive, sexual and maternal health as well as midwifery.

ekw’í7tl doula collective

A network of Vancouver-based Indigenous doulas who work with midwives, doctors and birth workers to provide full-circle mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual support to mothers and families during pregnancy, labour, birth, postpartum care and beyond.

National Aboriginal Council of Midwives

This council advocate for the restoration of midwifery education, the provision of midwifery services, and choice of birthplace for all Indigenous communities consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  

Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights

This Canadian organization works in international and national policy, education and advocacy for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

First Nations Child and Family Services

This Canadian organization provides research, policy, professional development and networking support to Indigenous children and families.

SisterSong: Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Locating in the United States, Sistersong is a network of local, regional and national grassroots agencies representing women of color in the United States.

Native Women’s Association of Canada

This Canadian organization works to support Indigenous women and girls as well as their families through activism, policy analysis and advocacy.

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