Healthy Beginnings, Supportive Communities, A Strong Future: Métis Maternal-Child Health
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  • 1. Healthy Beginnings, Supportive Communities, A Strong Future: Métis Maternal-Child Health
  • 2. Background Throughout 2009, The Métis Centre of NAHO met with Métis across Canada, including parents, Elders, midwives, doctors and researchers, to share and collect stories, teachings and information relating to pregnancy, birth and infant care. These stories and information will result in a DVD showcasing Métis traditions, as well as providing practical health information on maternal-child well-being. Our goal is to collect and share experiences, traditions and health information for the benefit of Métis families. The DVD and a final report will be available free of charge in 2010.
  • 3. Healthy Messages Project: Where It All Began In 2008-09, the Métis Centre of NAHO partnered with the Métis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) to determine how to make health promotion activities more relevant to Métis. Métis women were asked about the provincial government’s new promotional materials for their Healthy Choices in Pregnancy Initiative. Our Healthy Messages project showed that : •Métis often connect physical health with broader determinants such as income, spirituality, and community. •Maternal-child health is seen as connected to both the health of the family and the community. •Pregnancy and motherhood was seen as a time of connection with one’s heritage, and the loss of Métis historical knowledge and Métis ways of knowing was significant and painful. Our project uncovered feelings of loss expressed by new Métis mothers who were struggling to connect with their culture. In response to the voices of the women at these gatherings, the Métis Centre launched this project on maternal-child health for 2009-10.