Ottawa, ON – March 17, 2023 – There is an urgent need to increase Inuit midwifery services across Inuit Nunangat. Pauktuutit’s Board of Directors continues to identify this as a key priority for Inuit women and gender-diverse Inuit. To further this important work, we will host key stakeholders at our first National Inuit Midwifery Forum in a concrete step toward the development of a National Inuit Midwifery Framework to guide efforts calling for the return and re-integrate Inuit-led midwifery services in Inuit Nunangat.

For generations, Inuit women relied on local midwives who traditionally filled the role of providing reproductive health care to expectant mothers. Giving birth to a child was a family and community-centered event governed by longstanding, traditional birthing practices. These practices were as removed from Inuit communities and replaced by a western system of medicalized birthing practices unfamiliar to Inuit.

“Currently, due to a lack of access to maternal care services, Inuit women are forced to leave their home communities and travel vast distances by aircraft to give birth. This practice is extremely difficult — even dangerous — for expectant mothers and their young families,” said President Gerri Sharpe.

In partnership with the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM), the National Inuit Midwifery Forum will be held virtually on March 28, 29, and 30 to address:

  • Current gaps and challenges faced by Inuit birthers, infants, families, and communities.
  • Roles of Inuit midwives, and the importance of access to culturally informed midwifery services to the health and wellness of Inuit and their communities.
  • The urgent need for a rights-based framework to facilitate the return and re-integration of Inuit midwifery services across Inuit Nunangat.

Registration for the National Inuit Midwifery Forum can be found on our website at or by emailing


Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada Is the national non-profit organization representing all Inuit women in Canada. Its mission is to foster a greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women and to encourage their participation in community, regional and national concerns in relation to social, cultural, and economic development.

For more information, please email: