Nov 8, 2018
By Talia Pfefferle
Dumont Technical Institute (DTI) and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) have recently partnered in the development and delivery of an Indigenous Doula Training program. Although the program is still in the early stages of development, it is very exciting as this is the first partnership of its kind in Saskatchewan.
DTI has already conducted preliminary work in preparation for the 12 week program. The Indigenous Doula Training program will meet the requirements of Doula Canada, one of the top membership and certification organizations for professional Doulas and Childbirth Educators in the country. The program will also incorporate the requirements for the Opamihowosiw Indigenous Doula Program, and the SHA Safety Tickets.
Doulas are known as birthing coaches and postpartum supporters. They are non-medical personnel who assist women before, during and after childbirth. Doulas are trained to provide the much needed emotional and physical supports not only to the mother, but also the father, and family. Traditionally, Indigenous Doulas have been providing culturally-safe care and perspectives that are essential to the birth experiences of many Indigenous families.
Today, there is an increasing demand for trained Indigenous Doulas across Canada, and Dumont Technical Institute and the Saskatchewan Health Region have joined hands to respond to the need in Saskatchewan.
Following the recent approval of the proposed program by the GDI Board of Governors, DTI has started the next steps of the program implementation. Both SHA and DTI have agreed to work together in recruitment, program development and employment. GDI Training & Employment will also partner to provide funding supports for qualified Métis students and possible wage subsidies for future employment.
DTI will meet with the SHA Maternal Services Working Group and present the program plan. This working group consists of community grandmothers, women, SHA staff and physicians. The group’s membership ensures that stakeholders, including community members and front line staff who will be directly impacted by the new program, are directly involved in it.
The Indigenous Doula Training program is projected to run in the spring of 2019. This is a very exciting time not only for the Institute and SHA, but also for our community. Acknowledgement in the health field for the lack of supports and trained individuals in this area is a huge step towards the betterment of our community as a whole. We identify this and are very excited to help be a part of this growth. We look forward to the success of our soon to be DTI trained Indigenous Doulas.