Best Start by Health Nexus helps Ontario service providers to improve the health of pregnant women, parents and young children. Best Start by Health Nexus is a key program of Health Nexus and is funded by the Government of Ontario. We care about healthy pregnancies and children, and are pleased to provide this book for pregnant women from First Nations across Ontario.

Best Start would like to thank Toronto Public Health for generously sharing its 2003 edition of Growing Healthy Together: Baby and Me. It became the model for this First Nations book about pregnancy and birth.

A special thanks to Nancy Sagmeister for initiating the draft text of this resource, and to Karen Lawford for building on this work, enriching the text through her knowledge of prenatal health and First Nations approaches. Kerry Bebee updated this resource in 2019. Best Start would also like to thank the following people for sharing their experience and knowledge, to guide the development of this resource:

  • Kim Anderson, PhD, Associate Professor, Sir Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Alisha Nicole Apale, Aboriginal Health Initiative Coordinator, Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
  • Tricia Atlookan, Eabametoong First Nation, Early Childhood Coordinator with Nishnawbe Aski Nation
  • Kerry Bebee, RM,  Aboriginal Midwife, Co-Chair of National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, Midwives of Lindsay and the Lakes
  • Jasmine Kahentineshen Benedict, Midwife, The Onkwehon:we Midwives
  • Tracy Cameron, Maternal and Child Health, First Nation and Inuit Health, Health Canada
  • Aimee Carbonneau, Aboriginal Registered Midwife
  • Sarah Giles, MD, CCFP, FRACGP
  • Dorothy Green, Onkwehónwe Midwife, Kontinenhanónhnha Tsi Tkaha:nayen
  • April Jacko, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada
  • Rosella M. Knoshameg, Maternal Child Health Nurse, Nipissing First Nation Health Services
  • Miranda Lesperance, Public Health Agency of Canada, Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities - Ontario Region
  • Sheila Marcinyshyn, FASD Outreach and Child Development Worker, Anishnawbe Mushkiki
  • Deborah Monette, Maternal & Child Health Policy & Programs, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Dr. Patricia Mousmanis, Family Physician, Coordinator, Healthy Child Development Program, Ontario College of Family Physicians
  • Barbara Peltier, Wholistic Coordinator, Wikwemikong Health Centre
  • Sacheen Pointe, Birth Companion at Indigimama Midwifery and Doula Services
  • Nicole Robinson, MA, Aboriginal Health Initiative Coordinator, The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
  • Teresa Trudeau, Traditional Healing Coordinator, Anishnawbe Mushkiki
  • Andrea Young, B.A, B.Ed, Peguis First Nation, Mushkego Cree, mother and kohkom
  • Interested nurses, family physicians, paediatricians and midwives
  • The many pregnant women who commented on the draft resource

Miigwech! Hiy-Hiy! Niá:wen! Marsee! Thank you! Merci!

Citation: Best Start Resource Centre (2013). Beginning Journey. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: author.

Funding for this publication was provided by Health Canada. Its content reflects the views of the authors and is not necessarily endorsed by Health Canada. The resources and programs cited in this report are not necessarily endorsed by the Best Start Resource Centre or the Government of Canada.

Copyright 2013 Health Nexus