DOHAD 2022 Indigenous Gathering

Wed Aug 24 – Fri Aug 26, 2022, Vancouver, BC

Topic: Indigenous perspectives on intergenerational wellness, centring on Mothers, pregnancy, infants within their support circles (grandmothers, midwives, communities) 

Context: DOHaD = Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. DOHaD is the idea that the first 1,000 – 2,000 days of a person’s life (from conception to two to five years) are crucial for their overall health and wellness for their lifetime and also impact future generations. The particular environmental contexts and exposures experienced in utero, infancy and early childhood shape a person’s health outcomes. Factors such as maternal stress during pregnancy, childhood nutrition, genetics, and early environmental impacts all shape long-term health outcomes. An Indigenous lens on DOHaD has an enriched consideration of intergenerational effects, including blood memory, intergenerational trauma, and also considers impacts on the wellness of past and future generations through our collectivity and interconnectedness with other people, beings and Mother Earth. Indigenous DOHaD perspectives also include strengths- and resiliency-based approaches, and the importance of Indigenous cultures, languages and ways of knowing, being and doing as positive impacts supporting of health and wellness, both immediate, throughout our life course, intergenerationally and collectively. 

Goals:  To provide an opportunity for Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Holders, Mothers, Grandmothers, Midwives/Doulas, Fathers, Children, community members and academic scholars (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) from around the world to share their knowledges (living and academic) about:
(1) supporting the health and wellness of mothers and children, particularly focused on traditional practices around pregnancy, birth and infancy;
(2) community strategies towards wellness for children in the first 2,000 days of life, including customs, rituals and rites to ensure wholistic wellness; and
(3) intergenerational knowledges and practices supporting this. 

Sessions: Sessions will focus on sharing knowledges together, and will include keynote speakers, panels of experts (community and academic knowledges, including those with lived/living experience), dialogue groups, breakout sessions, artistic and experiential learning opportunities. A particular focus on the inherent strengths and resiliencies within Indigenous cultures, traditions, practices and knowledges will be woven throughout the sessions.

Cultural considerations: The gathering will be held on the traditional lands of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh peoples in what is now known as Vancouver, BC. The planning committee is committed to working with local Elders and Leaders to hold the event with respect for the customs and protocols of the Host Nations. Ceremonial practices and cultural protocols will be interwoven throughout the event, to begin and end the gathering, each day and each session. There will be physical and temporal space for cultural teachings and practices and safe spaces for people to care for their bodies and spirits. 

DOHaD International Congress: Our Indigenous DOHaD Gathering is connected conceptually and relationally to the DOHaD International conference which will be held immediately following the Gathering at the Vancouver Convention Centre (Dates). For more information, please see https://www.dohad2022.com/ The Indigenous DOHaD gathering has been developed from the vision of a group of scholars and community members who gathered in Darwin, AUS in 2019, and who identified a need for this gathering.

Organizing Committee

Alexandra King, MD, FRCPC
Nipissing First Nation 
SFU & USask
Elder Glida Morgan
Tla’amin Nation   
Rhonda Bell, PhD
University of Alberta

Committee Members:
Elder Sharon Jinkerson-Brass
Key First Nation
SFU & USask
Pablo Nepomnaschy
Richard Oster
Alberta Health Services

Lisa Delorme
BC Midwives Association
Colibri Midwifery

Sarah MacDonald  
Communications & promotion

Taylor Morrisseau
Trainees representative

Stephanie Montesanti
University of Alberta

Fernada Torres Ruiz
University of Alberta

Lynette Epp
Logistics & planning

Host Nation Relations:
Guided by
Elder Dennis Joseph
Squamish Nation

ilhenaylhs chet s7elji

ilhenaylhs chet s7elji pronunciation, spoken by Elder Dennis Joseph