This paper presents the approach taken by the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) to improve maternal and newborn care for First Nations peoples in Northwestern Ontario. I use a cultural safety lens to explore whether the SLMHC’s focus on birthing meanings, beliefs, attitudes, and practices as described by elders may contribute to the development of a more culturally safe hospital birth model. Findings suggest that a transcultural approach aimed at understanding and involving birthing beliefs, practices, and meanings into the health care setting is a necessary aspect of returning control back to the community and is thus an important preliminary step in achieving cultural safety in the clinical realm. In areas in which health and social challenges prevent women from giving birth in their home communities, efforts such as the SLMHC initiative should be made to ensure that existing health care settings are more culturally safe.
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Thesis advisor: Berry, Nicole
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