United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous People recognizes the “dual reality of many Indigenous people who live in two worlds. In one world, they hold fast to their cultural traditions, beliefs, and values. The other world is that of a colonizing nation, and it is where many Indigenous peoples go for … health care.”10 Article 24 of UNDRIP is essential to understanding these health rights. It states:
24.1 Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals. Indigenous individuals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services.
24.2 Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right.11
Parteras de Maiz recognize that indigenous midwives have always existed and will always exist. Our hope is to affirm the dignity and value of indigenous midwives, regardless of credentials, as essential to the health and wellbeing of every community. In the United States, birth for indigenous and black peoples became harmful and, in many cases, led to the extinction of midwives of color and community-based midwives who were from communities that recognized that midwifery is part of traditional healing and indigenous spirituality.
Parteras de Maiz Projects
Apache Birthworks Program
Parteras de Maiz is currently supporting the White Mountain Apache nation with the Apache Birthworks Program in which the Apache nation is offering training, healing, and workforce development in midwifery and birth work education and certification. For more information, Jandi Craig may be contacted.
We welcome your support and advocacy in the work! Our team is currently looking for volunteers for the 2023 Indigenous Birth Conference.
We are also hoping to populate our resources list, so please let us know if you would like to be added to our list of resources.
If you would like to volunteer or offer financial support, please contact: [email protected]
This page will list current indigenous led projects around the country/world for indigenous midwives
It will also list links to papers/other resources