Alberta Midwifery Matters Conference 2019

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Alberta Midwifery Matters Conference 2019

In 2018, the AAM hosted its inaugural conference at the Grey Eagle Resort on the Tsuut’ina Nation (adjacent to Calgary) after being been awarded funding through the Status of Women Community Grant Program. With 96% of participants finding the speakers extremely engaging or very engaging, the conference program was curated by Dr. Lolly de Jonge who is filling that role again this year. In our post-conference survey, there were also requests for more exhibitors and more time to explore the exhibits. Our exhibitors were happy as well with one stating:

“Enjoyed being a part of this exciting group and a part of the very first conference!  . . . Space was great, committee was excellent to work with . . . for a first conference, it was very well done. Looking forward to the next conference and being a part of it again!"

 We believe that the people who were involved with the conference were inspired and that their commitment to midwifery as a calling and a means of social justice for all birthing people was reinforced. Midwifery Matters!

When & Where

The conference will be held Thursday, September 19 and Friday, September 20, 2019. 

The Hilton DoubleTree in downtown Edmonton 
9576 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 3V3
TEL: +1-587-525-1234

Click here to book your room now at our preferred rate!

The AAM welcomes infants-in-arms and non-separating children to our conference. A room will be set aside with a refrigerator and comfortable seating for families and for those who would like to express and store their milk. Please bring your own breast/chest pump. Please note, this room may also be used for other purposes.


Tickets are transferable but not refundable.

  Members Only
Early Bird

1 Day

2 Day

1 Day

2 Day

Members $195 1. $295 1.2. $250 1. $375 1.2.
Students $125 1. $195 1.2. $125 1. $195 1.2.
Public     $295 1. $425 1.2.

Click here to register for Thursday night public event with Dr. Michael Klein.

1. Price includes breakfast, lunch and nutritional breaks.
2. Price does not include Saturday workshops which have an additional fee.

Key Speakers and Events

Select Speakers


Chandra Martini, RM
  • Call Back the Midwife: Resurrecting the History of Black Pioneer Midwives in Western Canada - (Picasso Room)
Nadia Houle, BSc, RAc
  • Healing Nations Through Our Grandmothers' Ceremonies: The Significance of Traditional Midwifery - (Picasso Room)
Jennifer Summerfeldt, MA
  • ‘Crimes Against Wisdom’ - An Investigation of Moral Injury, Compassion Fatigue, and Secondary Traumatic Stress for Maternity Care Professionals - (Picasso Room)
Naomi Gracechild
  • Drop the D-Word: Looking Beyond Diversity and Deconstructing Systems of Oppression - (Picasso Room)
Hermine Hayes-Klein, JD
  • The Tension Between Law and Ethics in Maternity Care - (Picasso Room)



Alberta Association of Midwives AGM (members only)
  • 4:15pm
Public Event: Midwives Made Me Do It—How Midwives Both Messed Up and Greatly Improved My Life - Michael Klein, MD
  • 6:30pm
Wine & Cheese plus DJ & Dance
  • 8:00pm

Select Speakers


Michael Klein, MD
  • The Tyranny of Meta-analysis - Garbage In, Garbage Out - (Picasso Room)
Hermine Hayes-Klein, JD
  • Risk, Evidence, Liability and Values in the Informed Consent Process - (Picasso Room)
Tiffany Sostar, MA
  • Networks of Care: Sustaining Solidarity - (Picasso Room)
Nicola Strydom, RM
  • Growing Generation: Supporting Surrogacy Journeys - (Renoir Room)
Cassie Evans, RM and Sharon Prusky, RN, MEd
  • Own Your Scope of Practice - (Picasso Room)
Heather Martin, RM and Susan Jacoby, RM
  • Preceptor Discussion (Registered Midwives Only) - (Renoir Room)
Joanna Noble, MSc(HQ)
  • Pearls of Wisdom from the Risk Assessment Checklist Program - (Picasso Room)
Nadine Robinson, RM
  • Cultivating the Wisdom Within: Blooming Where You Are Planted - (Picasso Room)
Roxanne Tootoosis, Indigenous Knowledge Keeper/Facilitator
  • Wrap Up and Closing Ceremony - (Picasso Room)



8:00am to 12:00pm Banksy Room
12:30pm to 4:30pm Banksy Room

Download full schedule here
Download digital program here


Thursday, September 19

Call Back the Midwife: Resurrecting the History of Black Pioneer Midwives in Western Canada
Chandra Martini, RM

Chandra Martini is a descendant of the 1910 migration of Black settlers from the Southern United States to Western Canada. As a member of the Black pioneer descendant community, she has been able to access documents that illuminate an aspect of midwifery history that had previously been elided from mainstream accounts of midwifery in Canada. The results of Chandra’s research suggested that Black pioneer midwives inherited healing modalities and belief systems from a tradition arising out of enslaved communities in the Southern United States; further, they functioned as trusted and respected perinatal care providers and healers within their communities. Join Chandra as she looks at the history of Black pioneer midwives in Western Canada in the early 20th century with the aim of contributing to a more accurate and inclusive historical narrative of midwifery in Alberta.

Healing Nations Through Our Grandmothers' Ceremonies: The Significance of Traditional Midwifery
Nadia Houle, BSc, RAc

Nadia’s nehiyawak iskwew family originated from the Dunvegan First Nation but were displaced to Spirit River and eventually the Fort St John area. As a Registered Acupuncturist, a passionate indigenous birthworker, a certified lactation counsellor and a reproductive health activist, she advocates for indigenous families to know their options during pregnancy.

‘Crimes Against Wisdom’ - An Investigation of Moral Injury, Compassion Fatigue, and Secondary Traumatic Stress for Maternity Care Professionals
Jennifer Summerfeldt, MA

Jennifer Summerfeldt, holds an MA in Counselling Psychology and has nearly two decades of experience in maternal health and psychology. In addition to being a counsellor and a transformational coach, Jennifer has also been a childbirth advocate, maternal educator, doula, midwifery apprentice, and a published writer. She uses her expertise and voice to help advance the dialogue on motherhood, mental health, and healing. During this presentation, Jennifer will walk you through the impact of trauma exposure as a childbirth professional. You will learn signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress injury. As well, steps for prevention and treatment options.

Drop the D-Word: Looking Beyond Diversity and Deconstructing Systems of Oppression
Naomi Gracechild

Naomi is the founder and a principal at Euphony Equity and Inclusion Works, as well as a musician, educator, and social justice activist. Her solutions-based approach is to "call-in" people to realize their full potential to engage clients, other maternity care providers, stakeholders and other underrepresented identities, particularly gender diverse and racialized peoples. In this session, participants will learn and discuss the concepts of culture, diversity versus decolonization, equity, inclusion, identity, intersectionality and cultural competency. Participants will be invited to explore their own cultural identities, deconstruct their cultural biases, and critically examine systemic barriers to gain a deeper understanding of issues faced by people of underrepresented identities.

Midwives Made Me Do It —How Midwives Both Messed Up and Greatly Improved My Life (Thursday)
The Tyranny of Meta-analysis —Garbage In, Garbage Out (Friday)
Dr. Michael Klein, MD

Dr. Michael Klein, author of Dissident Doctor: Catching Babies and Challenging the Medical Status Quo will deliver a keynote address on Thursday evening entitled Midwives Made Me Do It—How Midwives Both Messed Up and Greatly Improved My Life. Michael will share his story of how midwives shaped his life and how his work and research were influenced by his relationship with midwives. This event will include readings from his book and a book signing will follow. At the conference on Friday, Michael will speak on The Tyranny of Meta-analysis—Garbage In, Garbage Out in which he will use examples from the literature to illustrate how, in the words of Phil Hall, “We have gone from evidence-based decision-making to decision-based evidence making

Risk, Evidence, Liability, and Values in the Informed Consent Process
Hermine Hayes-Klein, JD attorney and international maternity healthcare advocate

Hermine Hayes-Klein is an attorney and international advocate for women's rights in maternal healthcare.  From 2008 - 2012, Hermine taught international law at The Hague University in The Netherlands, where she was the director of the Bynkershoek Research Center for Reproductive Rights.  Since 2012, Hermine has organized six multi-stakeholder international conferences on human rights in childbirth in Europe, the US, South Africa, and India, spoken publicly around the world on human rights in maternal healthcare, consulted on legislation relating to birth and breastfeeding in multiple jurisdictions, and worked directly on many legal cases relating to midwifery, informed consent, shared decision-making, and modern maternity care. Hermine and her family live in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Friday, September 20

Networks of Care: Sustaining Solidarity
Tifanny Sostar, MA

Tiffany Sostar (they/them) is a bisexual, non-binary, chronic pain-enhanced narrative therapist, community organizer, writer, and editor, living and working as a white settler on Treaty 7 land. Tiffany works primarily within bisexual, pansexual, asexual, trans, non-monogamous, and neurodivergent communities. They also work as a consultant, helping organizations and community groups develop skills and strategies for self-care and community care, developing partnerships across difference while maintaining dignity and accountability. They are excited about bringing narrative therapy into organizations and groups to strengthen existing values of justice and equity, to name and witness skills of solidarity and resilience, and to nurture new ways of engaging with each other.

Growing Generations: Supporting Surrogacy Journeys
Nicola Strydom, RM

Inspired by the many folks she's met throughout her years of travel, volunteer work and career work, Nicola puts her heart into educating and helping others. With her experience as a midwife, doula and international childbirth educator, it's no surprise that Nicola has been passionate about maternity care since she was young. During her presentation, entitled Growing Generations: Supporting Surrogacy Journeys, Nicola will provide information on caring for surrogate clients. From antepartum care, birth, and postpartum care, Nicola will share her research on surrogacy in Alberta including a host of references and resources.

Own Your Scope of Practice
Cassie Evans, RM

Cassie is the President and Chair of the College of Midwives of Alberta. In 1998, she graduated from the Bachelor of Nursing program at the University of Alberta and worked for nine years as an obstetrical nurse in Alberta and Arizona. She completed a Master’s degree in Nurse Midwifery in 2005, started practicing midwifery in Calgary in 2008 and was a founder of Honeycomb Midwives in 2016.

Own Your Scope of Practice
Sharon Prusky, RN, MEd

Sharon has been involved in the maternity health care field for more years than she can count! Her background includes President of Lamaze International, labour and delivery nurse, maternity unit educator, and a lifelong colleague of midwives and midwifery practice. Since 2017, Sharon has served as the Registrar for the College of Midwives of Alberta and is fully committed to moving Alberta midwifery professional practice forward.

Preceptor Discussion (Registered Midwives Only)
Heather Martin, RM

Heather began her nursing education in 1999, qualifying for the Accelerated Nursing Education Program and began working in a labour and delivery unit after graduating in 2002. She also spent a year working full time in a tertiary level NICU. Heather went on to pursue her Masters in Nursing at the University of Alberta and, with a passion for global maternal health, she conducted her thesis research in Ghana, Africa, studying community support for childbearing women. Through her studies, Heather learned more about midwifery and a new fire was lit. Heather completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree in Midwifery, Cum Laude in 2013 and returned to Edmonton to begin her new career at JoySpring Midwifery as a Registered Midwife. Heather the moved to Passages Midwifery in Stony Plain where she has helped to continue Noreen Walker's legacy by dedicating her life to caring for diverse families and educating others about midwifery. Join Heather as she leads a Preceptor Discussion Circle on Friday, September 20.

Preceptor Discussion (Registered Midwives Only)
Susan Jacoby, RM

Dr. Jacoby currently serves as Associate Professor of Midwifery at Mount Royal University. Her research focuses on African immigrant women with female genital mutilation/cutting, intimate partner violence in pregnant women, safety and efficacy of water birth, factors associated with perineal lacerations in childbirth, and midwifery education in Ethiopia and globally. She recently completed a sabbatical at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, working on projects associated with the Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020, including an original play called “Born in the Ruins” which has been performed at the World Health Organization and will soon be performed at the United Nations High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage. She has also enjoyed matriculating into the Canadian Midwifery Model as a practicing midwife in Calgary. Next year Dr. Jacoby will celebrate 40 years as a health care provider and educator in nursing and midwifery!

Pearls of Wisdom from the Risk Assessment Checklist Program
Joanna Noble, MSc (HQ)

Joanna is the Supervisor, Knowledge Transfer within the Healthcare Risk Management Department at HIROC. She has over 20 years’ experience in patient safety, risk, quality, nursing and insurance, and contributes regularly to external forums on diverse risk and safety issues. Joanna leads the translation of claims data into patient safety knowledge and the dissemination of this knowledge to healthcare organizations. She frequently contributes to publications with a focus on obstetrics and midwifery. In 2016, Joanna was selected to be a member of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) Knowledge Translation and Implementation Science Faculty. She is in her second year of the Master of Science Healthcare Quality program at Queen’s University and is currently Board Chair for the Scarborough Women Centre.

Cultivating the Wisdom Within: Blooming Where You Are Planted
Nadine Robinson, RM

Nadine practiced midwifery for almost 20 years in Calgary, Central Alberta, Nunavut and Guatemala. Eventually, she recognized her desire to help people in all seasons of life and completed training in healing trauma, medical intuition, soul loss, energetics of aromatherapy, herbal and plant wisdom, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Belief Re-patterning and chakra therapy. She works with people around the world offering mentorship, soul inspiration, and practical tools and techniques to support them in creating the life they dream of.

Wrap Up and Closing Ceremony
Roxanne Tootoosis - Kamiyo Wapikwanet, Indigenous Knowledge Keeper/Facilitator

Roxanne is Plains Cree/Saulteaux originally from Poundmaker Cree nation near Cut Knife, Saskatchewan. With guidance provided by ceremonial leaders, she reconnected with cultural teachings to aid in the healing process. Roxanne travels extensively sharing these sacred experiences to inspire others and revive ancient knowledge. She is also the Indigenous Knowledge Keeper at MacEwan University.

Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities

Take a look at our Sponsorship and Exhibitor packages

Why sponsor/exhibit?
Targeted Audience:  Showcase your products or services to midwives and other maternity care professionals. We have a number of high profile speakers who will attract participants from across the maternity care field.

Networking: You’ll be able to establish new relationships with attendees and build existing relationships. The display area is set up to maximize traffic with participants accessing the conference area by walking through the exhibit space. Partners can participate in all aspects of the conference (except the Annual General Meeting).

Spread the word: Share the knowledge and ideas with your colleagues present, discuss and help make a change