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FEBRUARY 23, 2021 | 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM PST | VIRTUAL 

photo used with permission.photo by melody charlie.

photo used with permission.photo by melody charlie.

photo used with permission.photo by melody charlie.

 To see the full Forum program, click here

presenters | Nadia Houle & Lori Calkins 


As we work towards bringing traditions back into our birthing ways, we still have many expecting families with complex needs requiring different levels of support. As birthworkers and aunties, it is important to establish our role confidently in decreasing the gaps that often exist between the family's natural support and the medical/professional care they are receiving. Closing this gap can help families overcome many barriers that other families may not have, leaving some families being viewed as non compliant by the health care system. Participants will learn about different areas of natural support that can be provided by the birthworker to help the family's journey be a smoother one.

About Nadia Houle
Nadia Houle is a mixed race nehiyaw iskwew, whose ancestors originate from the Dunvegan Band, located in the northern Treaty 8 Territory. Nadia is a registered acupuncturist, birthworker, lactation counsellor and reproductive health advocate. She is the founder of Indigenous Birth of Alberta, a grassroots organization formed in 2016. Nadia has been providing childbirth education, pregnancy and birth support for over 15 years throughout the Treaty 6 Territory. Her acupuncture, traditional medicines and ceremonial teachings are naturally woven into her birthwork, allowing her to provide support from all four directions. She enjoys mentoring birthworkers and community members to begin their learning about reproductive health through a traditional lens within a modern context. Nadia lives and resides in Edmonton with her partner and their blended family of 8, where they are well known in the ceremony community as helpers and role models. Her western education includes a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, a Diploma of Acupuncture, training from DONA (Doulas of North America) as well as numerous traditional teachings from her relatives, elders and knowledge keepers. 

About Lori Calkins

Lori Calkins is Otipemisiwak from the Red River Settlement in Manitoba and the mother of two grown daughters. She is an Indigenous Cultural Birth Helper and spiritual care provider with more than 20 years experience. She provides trauma-informed, inclusive prenatal, birth and postpartum support to Indigenous families in and around Amiskwacîwâskahikan. Many of the families she works with have complex needs rooted in trauma arising from historic and contemporary colonial systems and practices. She provides wrap around care to address a wide variety of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, practical, social and cultural needs. Lori has broad knowledge of reproductive health ranging from harm reduction, pregnancy and addictions to grief, loss, healing and end of life care. Her education, consulting, collaborative public art installation and advocacy work has included Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, human trafficking, sexual violence and healing, racism, cultural safety and reconciliation. Her traditional knowledge is learned from elders, kokums knowledge keepers and aunties. Her western education includes a B.A. in English Literature, an MDiv. from Newman Theological College and training from DONA (Doulas of North America), Spinning Babies, REACH Edmonton, Early Childhood Development Support Services, the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton. 

presenter | Shaylynn McAuley – Iskwew Owīcihowewak  

Utilizing my Cree Language I would like revitalize and restore traditional stories and teachings about Sacred Birthing practices, Good Child Rearing Practices and the connection to the Sacred Lodge. Why ancestral knowledge, values and land based teachings are important to my family, these stories and teachings are earned through Rights of Passage when we transition through the different stages of our life:

  • Traditional lodge
  • Tipi pole teachings
  • Fire Women “Iskotew Iskwewak” 
  • Wâspison and traditional swing 
  • Decolonizing love - Oskiyâk

About Shaylynn McAuley – Iskwew Owīcihowewak

22, Daughter, grand daughter, sister and mother of two. Woodland Cree from Northern Saskatchewan. Community Wellness Researcher, Full Spectrum - Indigenous Birth Worker. Two spirit, Trail Blazer, Truth Seeker, on the journey to Self- discovery and inter generational healing.

presenter | Shoneena Lee Loss  

Traditional ways to Health and Wellness. Acknowledging our plant allies, for pain management, holistic wellness, and spiritual growth. Empowering woman, and supports in their Birthing process, Educating and meeting them wherever they are.

About Shoneena Lee Loss
I, Shoneena Lee Loss of Cree decent and owner of Body Mind Soul Holistics , am a First Nations Healer. A “Modern” Certified Holistic Practitioner and Indigenous Doula. 
I am so Blessed to call my home, home "off the Grid” in the Prestine Nahatlatch Valley where living with Nature and the Medicines of the land is a way of life. My two boys Cedar and River and myself, live a sustainable lifestyle, living off the land and land based teachings.  

I am a Proud member of the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada which was founded in 2012 to preserve and revitalize endangered Indigenous art forms and enrich lives through Indigenous arts and culture. PassTheFeather.Org

I chose to be a Certified Holistic Practitioner and Indigenous Doula because taking Responsibility for our OWN health is one of the most Empowering experiences in life and is our Birthright.  Decolonizing Birth, Health and Wellness one Birth, One client at a Time, for the next 7 Generations. 

As a Practitioner, I am registered with the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada as well as the British Columbia Association of Aromatherapists as a Registered Aromatherapist. 

As a Doula I am Registered with the Doula Services Association Of BC, also with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres as so am enrolled in the Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant Program to help assist Aboriginal Families through a funded program. 

I started my initial training at Birth, and continued at the Omega Institute of Holistic studies in Rhinebeck NY in 2004. Here I immersed myself in studies from around the world. I acquired my Buddhist Precepts with Noah Levine and Jack Kornfield, Shapeshifter Practitioner Apprenticeship with John Perkins, and had the Privilege and honour to sit alongside Deepak Chopra, Pema Chodron, Don Miguel Ruiz and many other acclaimed amazing Conscious Humans. In 2005 I Graduated as a Certified Holistic Practitioner from the British Columbia Institute of Holistic Studies. I hold over 16 different Diplomas and Certificates in many Different Modalities and add to these Continually. 

Since 2007 I have Trained and Mentored with my Spirit Brother Robin Clements of Breathwave, sharing the gifts of Conscious Connected Breathwork. Since 2005 I have Owned and Operated Body Mind Soul Holistics along with a private practice at my CLinic in Boston Bar and have offered several Retreats, Workshops and Festivals in the Fraser canyon

I also have the honour of Volunteering for School District 78, Indigenous Education as a Knowledge keeper and attend school groups humbly sharing cultural, Spiritual Knowledge and workshops. With this, I also do several contract offerings across the Coastal and Fraser Valley as a Traditional Healer, offering my services to over 17 different Indigenous Communities including First Nations Health Authority. 

My intention is to collectively take back our power as Spiritual human beings and come back to the land, the natural laws of Nature, the original science,  the teachings, the offerings and the ways of our Ancestors. For all Cultures, For all Races, For all Our Relations ! I Thank you and I Support you on your Journey of Wholeness!

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