from the series: On Birth in the North: Reflections of Healing and Reclamation
by ᓂᐱ (Alyssa Gagnon)
I’m combining modern clinical practice and traditional setting. Letting go of divides, solidifying my ability, and registering my capability in the eyes of governing body and adhering to institutional policy. But what about our actual bodies? Scarred. Brown. Lighter brown and white because of travelling men and a lady with a crown across the sea. Birth belongs on the aski (land). But the norm is evacuation between 36 & 38 weeks gestation and neglect of sacred location.
Flying out like
I’ll show you and them that I can make this better. A responsibility to protect the water – both outside on the land and inside of the wombs across reproductive spectrum. Proper risk assessment and ceremony – including medicines and the drum. I promise our conversations about ab[use] and substance use won’t drag on; I’m supposed to tell you that it’s poison, but how can I tell you that when the water you drink can’t be purified by boiling? Leaving for confinement – isn’t that prison? You sit there silent and compliant, while I write shit down [document] and make some calls because it’s a requirement. Well *@$& that. Let us be peacefully defiant because
Alyssa’s spirit name is nipi (water). Her family is from the James Bay and she grew up on Taykwa Tagamou (New Post) territory. She is a First Nation Studies graduate from Western University, a third year student in the Midwifery Education Program here at Ryerson, an artist, and a mother to two young children.