keisha amanda (available)

Keisha is from the Katzie First Nation and Blackburn, Lancashire, England.

I have been working as a doula in Vancouver’s urban Indigenous community since 2011 when I was trained through the Douglas College DONA program. In August 2016 , shortly after co-founding our doula collective, I graduated from the Native Youth Sexual Health Network‘s Full Spectrum Indigenous Doula training in tkaronto/gichi kiiwenging (Toronto, Ontario).

I am working on a Bachelor of Science degree in Indigenous Health and will be pursuing an education in Midwifery as my next goal. In addition to my work as a doula, I am a Consultant with First Nations communities and organizations in BC and I also work with plants, most recently as the xʷc̓ic̓əsəm Garden Coordinator. To me, birth work and land/water-based work is inherently interconnected and I am always learning new teachings about creation and birth through my time working with the plants.

I began my birth work training because of the guidance of late Musqueam Elder Rose Point, who spoke of the dignity and strength she saw in childbirth and the beautiful power we have in bringing new life into the world. Elder Rose’s passion for midwifery, babies, self-determination and the power of our love inspired me deeply. She encouraged me to find my own family’s stories and I learned that my great-grandmother Mandy Pierre Charnley was also a traditional midwife who helped deliver babies in our community as a blind woman.

Birth work has always been a sacred role in my family. Before colonialism, it was common that young people in our family would train to become Aunties/helpers/doulas/birth workers who carried the teachings about how to lift up mothers/pregnant people/families and support the ceremony of bringing new life into this world. My great-grandmother, family and ancestors have been incredible role models and teachers in my birth work learning journey and I hope to continue their legacies the best that I can.

I practice with an anti-oppression and trauma-informed approach to support pregnancy, labour/birth, the postpartum period and across the spectrum of pregnancy outcomes. I am grateful to learn, listen, witness, connect and support while bringing my understandings of traditional healing practices, ceremony, plant knowledge, and empathy to my work as a doula in order to create a safe and empowering space for families to write their birth stories in ways that are most meaningful to them.