Danette Jubinville is a Nehiyaw-nahkawekwe from Treaty 4 territory with Cree, Saulteaux, German-Jewish, French and Scottish ancestry. Danette and her daughter Keestin are grateful to be living and learning in the unceded, ancestral lands of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
Until three generations ago, the women in Danette’s family were midwives and medicine people. Violent colonial policies like the reserve system, residential schools, and enfranchisement disrupted the transfer of knowledge between mothers and daughters in her lineage, like in so many others. For the past five years, Danette has been working diligently to reclaim traditional knowledge and cultural practices, especially related to plant and women’s medicine. Learning from and on the land with youth and elders has helped Danette to better understand her responsibilities to her family, her communities, and the world.
Today, Danette is combining her passions for Indigenous plant medicine, maternal health, and Aboriginal wellness in her role as a founding member of the ekw’í7tl doula collective. She is currently working on her master’s in Health Sciences at SFU, looking at the relationship between racism and birth outcomes, and the resilience of Indigenous mothers in Toronto.
I have a vision of Indigenous babies being born once again into the hands of Indigenous midwives and helpers. Historically, pregnancy, birth, and childrearing are sites that colonizers targeted in order to dispossess Indigenous peoples of our lands and resources. As a new mother, I have encountered feelings of shame during each of these life stages; this is the legacy of colonization. The fierce love I have for my daughter has been my biggest teacher, a sacred fire to heal the intergenerational wounds of racism and systemic violence. My daughter reminds me that Indigenous mamas and babes are worthy of the best possible care and health outcomes. This is what I hope the ekw’í7tl doula collective can help provide.
My grandmother, Ella Jubinville née Cyr (Pasqua First Nation) can still remember her grandmother, Isabel Bear (Ochapowace First Nation) delivering her siblings at their home on the reserve. In my role as a helper, I aim to honour my grandmothers and uplift the strength of mothers and families as we work together to create nurturing, loving environments for our future generations. My areas of focus are post-partum care and community programming. My belief is that birth is our first and most powerful ceremony. I offer my teachings and knowledge in a humble way, and respect the autonomy of mothers to take a leading role as decision-makers who know what is best for their bodies, their babies, and their families.
Relevant Education and Experience:
- DONA International Birth Doula Training, Douglas College
- MSc Candidate, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
- BA, First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program, University of British Columbia
- Practicum Student, Aboriginal Mother Centre Society
- Aboriginal Advisory Committee Member, McCreary Centre Society
- Research Assistant, Reciprocal Consulting (specializing in Indigenous program evaluation and research)
- Medicine Collective Helper, Indigenous Research and Education Garden, UBC Farm
- Garden Coordinator, Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness Program, Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society
- Wild Roots Plant Apprenticeship
- Aboriginal Youth Internship Program, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation + Victoria Native Friendship Centre