The Healing the Hurt campaign features voices of Indigenous mothers, including advisory board member Christena Lopez, who have faced discrimination, anti-Indigenous racism and culturally unsafe care from health providers.
The voices of Indigenous mothers who have faced discrimination, anti-Indigenous racism and culturally unsafe care at the hands of health-care providers are being brought to the forefront in a new campaign project called Healing the Hurt: Caring for Indigenous Mothers and Infants.
The awareness campaign features video messages of Indigenous women telling their stories and sharing their traumatic experiences of health care. Christena Lopez, one of the women featured in the campaign, came up with the idea to share the stories visually, and was actively involved in the project as a member of its advisory board. She and Shawna Hill, who is also a member of the advisory board, describe the impacts of trauma, racism, poverty and bias in how they were cared for as pregnant women and as mothers in some of the first videos to be published as part of the campaign.
They call on health-care providers to treat them and anyone Indigenous with more respect and care.
“I was a statistic, I wasn’t a human being,” says Lopez in a video recounting her prenatal care experience and the loss of her infant daughter. “They [doctors] have power to save people’s lives … they don’t realize that.”
“It makes you wish that you weren’t Native,” says Hill, who describes on camera how she and her daughter were mistreated by a family doctor and racially stereotyped, with the doctor looking for “burns, bite marks and bruises,” on her healthy daughter, and her fear that with just one phone call, “my kids could be gone.”
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For more information please visit https://www.indigenousmomandbaby.org/