Prioritizing Indigenous Maternal & Infant Health

Special Issue of Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Indigenous and Community Health

Prioritizing Indigenous Maternal and Infant Health

Deadline for Submission is June 30th, 2012

Indigenous communities continually experience poorer health outcomes than the general populations of the countries they live in.
Maternal and infant outcomes are a fundamental indicator of the health of populations, and the differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous outcomes are marked. Indigenous communities also experience higher birth rates, younger populations, barriers to accessing health care, and higher rates of suicide, addiction, incarceration, family violence, and apprehension of children.  The health and well-being of Indigenous mothers and their babies is central to understanding how these disparities are embodied, reproduced, challenged, and overcome.

Research in the area of maternal and infant health has the potential to play an important role in addressing disparities. Issues of health outcomes, access to health care and education, place of birth, provision and sustainability of midwifery services, breastfeeding, current maternal health policies and practices, and social determinants of health all contribute to our understanding of this issue.  As attention to both maternal and infant health policy and the health and well-being of Indigenous communities is becoming more prevalent in wider national and global discourses, research and evidence regarding indigenous maternal and infant health becomes increasingly relevant.

This special issue (Winter 2012) seeks to bring together the various approaches to Indigenous maternal and infant health research and practice.

Special Editors:

The issue will be co-edited by Rachel Olson
(Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation and the University of Sussex) and the National
Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM).  NACM is a Canadian national organization and exists to
promote excellence in reproductive health care for Inuit, First Nations, and
Métis women. We advocate for the restoration of midwifery education, the
provision of midwifery services, and choice of birthplace for all Aboriginal
communities consistent with the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous

Pimatisiwin is a peer reviewed, web-based journal published twice each year by Native Counselling Services of Alberta (, in partnership with:

The goal of the Pimatisiwin Journal is to promote the sharing of knowledge and research experience between researchers, health professionals, and Aboriginal leaders and community members. The journal provides a forum for this diverse population to publish on research process and findings in a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural setting. The primary focus is on health and health research in
Indigenous communities, broadly defined. Articles can be of interest to many fields, including sociological, psychological, medical, anthropological, experiential, methodological, both qualitative and quantitative in nature.
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