Public Health & MCH Competencies for Indigenous Community Health Workers

As developed by:
Sharon Bernecki DeJoy
Associate Professor
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Tatiyanna Mintz
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Jasmine Kahentineshen Benedict
Executive Director
Onkwehon:we Midwives Collective
Regina Willette
NYS Licensed Midwife
Aboriginal women in the U.S. & Canada have a higher risk of poor birth outcomes. It is common for them to experience racism, cultural insensitivity, medical paternalism, the hardships of rural geography & the effects of historical & current colonization. Although medical relocation for birth is meant to provide a safe delivery, it separates the mother from her family & social network, forcing her to experience one of her most important life events surrounded by unfamiliar languages, culture, people & food. This can result in increased maternal newborn complictaions, increased postpartum depression & decreased breast-feeding rates. Since there has been movement toward supporting the return of birth to First Nation communities for women at low risk of complications & providing training for aboriginal midwives to provide family health services to the community, this training module for community health workers in public/community health & MCH was collaboratively developed.