Indigenous Doula Program Fosters Safe Births + Cultural Connection

Indigenous doulas assist ‘Life Givers’ by providing culturally safe maternity care that honours traditional and spiritual practices and beliefs.

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“Being able to support a new Indigenous family from my community is very special and gives this work so much meaning,” says Sage Thomas, a doula whose services are provided through the Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant Program.

This initiative awards Indigenous ‘Life Givers’ and their families from across BC with a $1,000 grant to pay for the hands-on emotional, physical, and spiritual support a doula can provide during pregnancy, labour and after birth.

Last year, there was an unprecedented demand for the Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant Program, leaving some families at risk of not receiving support.

In November, our Board of Directors helped to answer the call to raise emergency funds for the Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant Program to ensure that Indigenous families continue to have the birth experience that is best for them. iA Financial Group, a donor from our community of supporters, also quickly responded to this urgent need for funds so that at least 25 families could receive a grant. Donor generosity has ensured this program remains accessible to Indigenous families, helping to lessen the disparity that Indigenous women often experience receiving quality healthcare.

“Life Giver and I were able to build a great relationship throughout her pregnancy,” says Sage. “It was like going to visit a cousin and talk about all things pregnancy, birth, and babies. After a couple days of early labour, Life Giver had a successful home birth with her midwives, an experience that was deeply rooted in the values the family held dear.”


*Doula support has shown a decrease in the use of epidurals, postpartum depression and anxiety, health complications, and hospitalization of newborns.

Our 2022 Spring Impact Report, INVISIBLE TO INVINCIBLE, highlights a handful of ways that your investments are amplifying the voices of women, bridging the gender gap in women’s health research, and helping to fund vital equipment and upgrades at the province’s dedicated women’s hospital.


Gruber, K. J., Cupito, S. H., & Dobson, C. F. (2013). Impact of doulas on healthy birth outcomes. The Journal of perinatal education22(1), 49–58.