From The Creator to Mother, Walk with Us
The Earth, to Charlene is a Mother. Birth, she attests, is when you give birth to a child you are giving back to the Earth. Generation after generation, we await the arrival of new life, the new generation. Kwe’, welta’si na’ nike’ pekisin! (Hello, I am glad you have come!). Let’s take a walk with Charlene.
Kwe, Let’s Walk Together
Kwe! Charlene is a Mi’kmaq Mother, with a dream. She wants every Mother to feel empowered during birth. From Nova Scotia, Charlene is working as a pregnancy Doula who incorporates her first Nations culture in the entire pregnancy and birth experience. If you know Charlene, she is humble, loves her ancestry and culture and is a family woman. She brings her culture, empathy and kindness to every client, and in turn, she goes through the journey of pregnancy and birth with each person. She also knows what it is like to be a Mom. With nine gorgeous children herself, she strives to teach them about their culture and their future.
Footprints – Creator Will Carry You
She believes the Creator will provide. With every parent to be, she enriches those who seek First Nations culture in their pregnancy and birth process. From praying together, drumming together or smudging together, she is there to be a First Nations mother’s support to prepare for the arrival for the new life, the new generation and the new soul coming into this world. In her humble opinion, it’s just amazing.” She empowers First Nation Moms she meets to go through a pregnancy and birth experience the way they want to, and incorporate their rich culture every step of the way.
Her First Steps
Charlene found her calling to be a doula early on in life. As a young married Mom, she was inspired to be a support and guide for others who were in her community and beyond. However, coming from a rural community and supporting her business during Covid 19 is a constant challenge. Like many people around the world, work is scarce but Charlene keeps fighting.
Like many parts of the world, Charlene’s area is experiencing a housing crisis. House prices have skyrocketed, for many reasons! Rentals are few and far between and the prices for an apartment or house in a rural area can be compared to prices in a downtown city core. Though Charlene is a fighter, it’s hard to make it when there are few jobs, few opportunities and expensive places. Charlene and her husband found themselves the victims of a housing crisis.
The Housing Crisis
In turn, Charlene points out, we find many children, particularly Indigenous Canadian children, are themselves in Foster Care. Some of these cases include but are not limited to a housing crisis.
According to a post on CTV, Charlene isn’t the only one seeing this disturbing trend. CTV quotes that 7% of the youth population is Indigenous children but according to the 2016 Canadian census, 52% of children in foster care are Indigenous. That is a huge disproportion! Canada sees just under 15,000 children that are in private foster care. They are under 15 years old.
On top of it all, most of these children are taken out of their communities and put in non-Indigenous homes. When this happens, it can be a risk that children will lose their culture, suffer severe mental health challenges and have a harder time connecting with their First Nations community. Considering what the First Nations have been through in Canada, this needs to be investigated. How many of these families are separated temporarily or on a more permanent basis due to a housing crisis?
Aq kinua’tuates pa’ qlaiwaqnn ni’n nikmaq. (And I Will Relate the Wonders to My People)- Rita Joe
Charlene now has an uphill battle herself. Not only is she out of work, but she finds some of her children in temporary foster care until she can secure permanent housing for her big family. This is a permanent generational pain for her people to see their children taken away. As a Mother, she is doing everything she can to get them back. She is a force.
I Will Find You in the Fire
As she smudges for her children, the smoke tells a story of a broken heart, an incomplete home and a quest to not only secure permanent housing for her family, but for all First Nations families. She is a warrior, she is Mi’kmaq, and she is a Mother. But Charlene does not want you to feel bad for her, she requests your call to action, to ask those who can help to do so. Walk with her, walk with us. Wela’lin, Wela’lin. (Thank you all, thank you all).
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