I am currently a stay at home mom and wife and have 7 children who range in age from 18 years old to 2 months. I am from the Oneida First Nation of the Thames and am from the turtle clan and currently reside in the city of London. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in First Nation Studies and Childhood and Social Institutions. I was looking forward to starting a career after earning that degree, but the universe had other plans and blessed me with 2 beautiful daughters within a 1 year of each other, yes, that’s right my youngest 2 children are exactly 11 months and 3 weeks apart.
I wanted a Maternal Support Practitioner scholarship because over the last year during my time at home I have been looking at different areas of work I could get into, but I wanted something that I was passionate about, something that I was going to love to wake up every day (most days) and enjoy doing. One day I stumbled upon doula training and it really got my attention and I begin looking into what was required to become a doula. The more I researched the more I fell in love with this idea as my next career path. A barrier for me was not being in a financial position to pay for the training and so in order to start this career adventure of mine I needed to seek out resources that could assist me and low and behold I found bebo mia and their wonderful scholarship opportunities and am so honored to be the recipient of the Intersectional or Bust Award.
I choose bebo mia because after I reviewed their website a couple thousand times I really resonated with the fact that they were offering an inclusive space and being the first doula service to offer this type of inclusion made me feel that their training and certification program would be more respectful and open-minded to my lived experience as an Indigenous mother. I also like that bebo mia story included motherhood into their journey in establishing their business by sharing that meetings often included infants or young children. This aspect is important to me as while I am interested in working I need a career that understands that my children and duties as a mother take priority and that means that I may have a child or 2 with me at mandatory meetings. After participating in one bebo mia Passionate About Birth & Babies?! Sessions I was sold as a lot of the reasons I wanted to become doula were addressed in the Passionate about Birth & Babies?! Session felt even more that bebo mia was the right place to do my training as doula.
I am looking at starting a new career path that I am passionate about and I know that I am passionate about motherhood and children and have been trying to figure out how I can create a difference for Indigenous children. I have only recently stumbled upon this word doula and upon researching it and following pages like bebo mia. I discovered that becoming a doula would provide me with the opportunity to work with mothers and provide support for them during one of their most vulnerable times they will experience. As an Indigenous mother I noticed there is a lack of birth support, postpartum support, and birth education for Indigenous woman in my area. I would like to specialize in decolonizing pregnancy, birth, and motherhood for Indigenous woman by incorporating Indigenous knowledge and revitalizing traditional birthing practices in my doula service.
Upon completing the Maternal Support Practitioner (I love this title also) program I plan on opening my own Maternal Support Practitioner practice in the London area that will cater to the local Indigenous communities as well as the urban Indigenous population. I would also like to bring more awareness of the doula services and practices to my community and once certified I would like to look at funding resources to train and certify more women in my community as Maternal Support Practitioners so that a support system for new moms is created in local Indigenous communities, as I am only one person, and I envision a complete network of Maternal Support Practitioner services being offered to new moms and to provide a complete holistic service to Indigenous women.
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