Aboriginal Midwifery Demonstration Project

November 2008 – July 2009


  • Principal Investigators : Stefan Grzybowski and Jude Kornelsen
  • Support Team: Shelagh Levangie, Melanie McDonald, Sarah Munro, Paul Dickinson

Funding Agencies

This project was a consultation commissioned by First Nations and Inuit Health and with the endorsement from the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Project Summary

In March 2009, the Centre for Rural Health Research conducted on on-site consultation on maternity service delivery in Mount Waddington to:

1) assess the needs of Aboriginal women on the North Island regarding birthing services;

2) determine the community level of desire for an Aboriginal midwifery pilot project;

3) determine the regulatory, financial, logistical, and professional feasibility of a sustainable midwifery service on the North Island.


A research report on the community consultation was presented to First Nations Inuit Health, the Vancouver Island Health Authority, and physicians practicing in the North Island communities. Findings supported the introduction of midwifery for Aboriginal birthing women on the North Island, as well as a long-term recommendation for the introduction of a GP Surgery practice in Port McNeill to support the sustainability of the midwifery practice and meet the general population health needs of the North Island. Feasibility issues have impacted the implementation of these recommendations. The Centre for Rural Health Research is continuing to participate in knowledge exchange and consultation activities with key stakeholders in the community.

Providing a Birth Support Program for Women of the North Island Region, Vancouver Island: An Aboriginal Midwifery Demonstration Project, edited by the Centre for Rural Health Research, August 2009.