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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

great mother where are you?

"...the Transitional Council has approved your application for Restricted Membership & Licensure with the SCM"

and with that folks, i'm a midwife (with restrictions) in saskatchewan.

i've been quiet about the plans that have been brewing over the last few months. quiet out a sense of not wanting to tempt the fates. some strange superstition. but with this. with this, it's real.

i'm moving to the country to be a rural midwife. i've taken a position at a community hospital, starting march 3rd. 

it sounds like it'll be a slow start with births and what not, which is fine. i'm used to being thrown in the deep end, so starting in the wading pool is just fine with me as i get settled into this new life. 

i'm excited with the birth unit that is on the brink of being open. i'm excited about being integrated into the community. 

i've been doing research into the history of the area, which has brought me full circle to my past career. 

i'll be working in southern saskatchewan. 

treaty four area. 

a friend recommended "a geography of blood" which was offered as an ebook through my local library. i've been eating it up. a bleak kerouacean tale of how "great grandmother" (queen victoria) settled the western front of canada, having to deal first with the local populations. all in the name of progress. john a. macdonald was canada's leader. 

in researching the history of saskatchewan, the author delved into the archaeology of the area. archaeology done by former professors' of mine, and former work collegues. who ever said that midwifery has nothing to do with archaeology, never imagined i'd end up on the plains of saskatchewan. 

promises were made all those years ago to provide education, health care and support in times of need to those who signed the treaties.  

great mother, where are you now?

i'm entering this community an outsider. 

i'm moving into a community that i don't know. i have fragmented ideas of what the social picture might look like. the health status. i know there is lack of access. i know that the women's health centre where i'll be working is thriving and a desired part of the community. 

it's not far from where i grew up and it will be serving several rural ukrainian communities. communities where my aunts, my father, my cousins grew up. communities where the greyhound bus took me as a small child. but still. even settling into this area at the turn of the century. we are immigrants. 

my great grandparents broke the land. they lived in a sod house. my grandfather was a farmer and general labourer that rode around on his horse and buggy. my fathers' family didn't have a car until he was sixteen. my family is from the land. but from the land in a very different way. most have moved to the cities and left that life in the roots of their childhood.

i'm moving into a community in which i have a lot to learn. 

my goal is to work myself out of a job. for me. i'm happy just building relationships. 

i'm thankful for my earlier education. i'm thankful that i have worked with First Nation communities in the north. i'm thankful that i've surveyed this land and found traces of the past and worked to protect them from oil and gas development. i'm thankful that i can place myself somewhat within the context that i'm entering. 

this is a time for reflexivity. time to identify my bias'. identify what i'm holding on to. and what i need to let go of.

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