Additional information


Beverley O’Brien


ISBN: 978-1-897568-18-7

Publish Date



6" x 9"

# of Pages

144 pages

Print format

Trade paperback


English/Inuktitut tumble

Available on Amazon

Birth on the Land

Memories of Inuit Elders and Traditional Midwives

In Birth on the Land, elders and traditional midwives from ten Nunavut communities share memories of traditional birth.

They share how they sometimes laboured and birthed quietly and alone, while other times they were surrounded by the love and support of their family or community. They describe, and even demonstrate, what they did to facilitate an easy birth and give newborns the best possible start in life.

The elders and traditional midwives also share memories about the transition from giving birth in igluit or tents to having to do so in the company of strangers in institutions introduced by southern colonizers. They remember a time when pregnancy, birth, and death were accepted as a part of life, and when elders, rather than southern caregivers, were the sources of wisdom and authority.

Birth on the Land reintroduces contemporary readers to the time-honoured midwifery practices that were used in Nunavut for generations, and provides invaluable insight for caregivers in contemporary Nunavut about caring for pregnant women and giving birth the “Inuit way.”