Racism in Health Care and Social Services from a Canadian Context: Exploring Indigenous Experiences of Pregnancy, Birthing and Parenting

Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative, Sarah Doyle Center Gender Equity Series
, (Link to come)

Join the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative and the Sarah Doyle Center Gender Equity Series for a virtual talk by Ashley Hayward (Red River Métis), PhD candidate in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba. The talk will be followed by a Q&A and discussion moderated by Sarah Williams, Louise Lamphere Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Brown University. Registration is required. 

In 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba earned the distinction of “Canada’s Most Racist City” by MacLeans magazine. This dubious title was unsurprising for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour in this prairie city. This racism is most prevalent in clinics and hospitals that support families through pregnancy, birth and postpartum periods. Ashley Hayward, PhD Candidate from the University of Manitoba and Research Manager at Kishaadigeh Collaborative Research Centre at the University of Winnipeg, will describe our research team work that focuses on urban Indigenous doulas as culturally based health interventions for Indigenous birthing people in Winnipeg. Reducing the number of newborn apprehensions into child and family services, improving pregnancy and birth health outcomes, and centralizing cultural knowledge are the drivers for this work which was initiated and led by service providers. Supporting birthing families in culturally informed services is one way to mitigate the harmful effect of systemic racism that is endemic in health and social services. This work supports our community partner’s urgent need for evidence to support rapid and drastic policy changes and program development around cultural safety and maternal and child health in Manitoba.

Ashley Hayward is a PhD candidate in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba and a 2020 CIHR funded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar. She is an interdisciplinary scholar with broad interests in Indigenous health, the social determinants of health, and culture as a health intervention. Her doctoral research supports the She Walks With Me project, a pilot initiative focused on creating an urban Indigenous doula program at Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg. She is specifically looking at supports for women and birthing people who are living in unstable housing. Ashley is the Research Manager for Kishaadigeh Collaborative Research Centre housed at the University of Winnipeg led by Dr. Jaime Cidro. Ashley is a wife, and mother to two daughters as well as a community engaged researcher working in partnership with a range of Indigenous organizations and social service agencies.

Sarah Williams holds a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from the University of Toronto. Her dissertation, Re/producing Legitimacy: Midwifery and Indigeneity in the Yucatán Peninsula, was based on eighteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in Quintana Roo and Yucatán, Mexico. She is the author of several peer-reviewed publications, including an essay in Social Science & Medicine entitled Divergent narratives of blame: Maternal mortality rates, reproductive governance, and midwifery in Mexico. She brings an emphasis on inclusion and engagement to her teaching pedagogy, emerging from her research work with diverse communities.

Racism in Health Care and Social Services from a Canadian Context: Exploring Indigenous Experienc...