The University of Winnipeg



Research on the repatriation of birthing in Northern Manitoba

Dr. Jaime Cidro + baby

Dr. Jaime Cidro + baby Javien Fredette

WINNIPEG, MB Traditionally, Canadian women, particularly Aboriginal women, gave birth in their home communities, amongst friends and relatives before it became a significant concern in the medical literature and public media prior to the 1970s. UWinnipeg’s Dr. Jaime Cidro will be working with Norway House Cree Nation, Manitoba on research on birthing repatriation thanks to a Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) grant worth $114,300.00 over two years. Cidro is a Network Environments for Aboriginal Health Research (NEAHR) (CIHR) New Investigator in Aboriginal Health and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology.

This project is in collaboration with the Norway House Cree Nation Health Division, the Northern/Remote Residency Program in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, the Kinosao Sipi Midwifery Clinic, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Bachelor of Midwifery program at the University College of the North.

“Having mothers transferred out of their home community weeks before their due date results in a cascade of negative social impacts and economic costs,” explained Cidro. “Our project will explore the social and cultural impacts of repatriation and evacuation and the clinical feasibility of returning birthing to Norway House Cree Nation. This research topic came from the community directly, so we are taking a community based research approach to ensure that we are asking the right questions, in the right way.”

The research will examine the attitudes of primary care staff and the community; the experiences of Norway House women who have left the community to birth as well as the experiences of women who have given birth in the community since prior to 1970; and the clinical feasibility of supporting low risk mothers and their neonates in the community and the subsequent costs of evacuation.

“The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs congratulates Dr. Jaime Cidro and Norway House Cree Nation on developing a winning proposal to obtain the CIHR Two-Eyed Seeing grant,” said Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. “Norway House is leading the way in returning birthing to our communities and pursuing the path of self-determination in health and all fields. This particular grant ensures working with Indigenous and western research methods, with the First Nation in the lead. Dr. Cidro has established a good relationship with Norway House already, and we offer our support.”

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