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PWRDF accompanies first gathering of Indigenous Midwives of the Americas

From left to right, Monica McKay and Cheryllee Bourgeois of Ryerson University, Zaida Bastos, then Director of Development for PWRDF, and volunteers from CHIRAPAQ of Peru gather in Peru in 2019.

May 28, 2019

By Juan Camilo Suárez Colmenares

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The Indigenous Midwives partners: José Zàrate of PWRDF, Patricia Yllescas and Sarai Fabian of KINAL, Mexico, Raquel Garcia of CHIRAPAQ, Peru, Monica McKay and Cheryllee Bourgeois of Ryerson University in Toronto, and Zaida Bastos, Director of Development at PWRDF.

This past April, almost 100 midwives from Indigenous communities gathered in Peru for the First International Gathering of Indigenous Midwives of the Americas. The purpose was to promote cultural exchanges in traditional midwifery and knowledge of Indigenous midwives in Canada, Peru and Mexico.

This ground-breaking event was part of the Indigenous Maternal Health and Midwifery Program currently being funded by PWRDF. Its participants and implementing partners are CHIRAPAQ from Peru, Kinal Antzetik from Mexico and Ryerson University’s Aboriginal Initiatives from Canada. Midwives discussed the challenges of Indigenous midwifery and possible future actions so the practice can continue in the three countries. The event focused on pregnancy, childbirth, child delivery and the use of medicinal plants in this ancestral practice.

Midwives from Kinal Antzetik share their experiences