Ha7lth skwayel ta nuyap, Jessica Kwi en sna.
I am a member of the Guerrero-Gonzales family of the Squamish Nation.
I noticed my natural interest in birth work as a teenager when a midwifery clinic opened in my neighbourhood and in my late teens had the honor of supporting my younger sister through her pregnancy; from birth classes, to extra snacking and all the way to the birth itself. The beauty of new life coming into the world stuck with me and I haven’t looked back since!
I completed my initial doula training at Douglas College and complemented this with the Wise Woman Way of Birth training. For the past 6 years I have worked in Indigenous health. I manage a peer-education program, Yúusnewas, which means ‘taking care of each other’ in the Squamish Language. This program provides a platform for Indigenous youth to discuss HIV, sexual health and other issues that are important to our bodily health. Youth learn from and with each other how to keep themselves healthy—whatever that looks like for each individual.
I have been very grateful to work in many urban Aboriginal settings as well as many reserves throughout BC. All of this experience has made me passionate about supporting our people to, once again, work towards achieving our full health potentials. I believe that Indigenous values surrounding reproductive health include everything along the spectrum— from educating women to learn about their bodies and contraception options all the way through to supporting our women in their life-giving and mothering. It is an honor to be invited to be with women and families during the sacred ceremony of life-giving.
I will be attending UBC’s Midwifery program in the fall of 2016 and look forward to increasing my capacity of supporting women and families through pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
Huy Chexw aa.
To learn more about Jessica and the work she does, check out the links below:
FNHA, Spirit Magazine (p. 22-23 )
**not available to take clients at this time