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Karen Lawford

Health (2020)

Lac Seul First Nation, ON

“I became a midwife to provide the gold standard of maternity care to First Nations families who live on reserves…I am committed to working in a reciprocal, ethical, and responsive manner for the benefit of all our communities.”

Dr. Karen Lawford (Ph.D., R.M., A.M.) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at Queen’s University and an Adjunct Research Professor in the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University. She is the first registered midwife and Indigenous midwife in Canada to obtain a doctoral degree and hold a university appointment. She advocates for maternity care that allows community members to give birth in their communities and on the land, and has explored the resiliency and resistance of women evacuated from their communities for birth. She is a founding member of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives.

Dr. Lawford mentors undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students. Her growing recognition nationally and internationally as an expert in her field recently led her to be named Co-Chair of the 2019 conference for the International Health Workforce Collaborative. Dr. Lawford continues to work with Indigenous midwives in Canada, the USA, and New Zealand, with plans for forming relationships in Australia.