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ethical practice and policy, Indigenous peoples, maternal/child healthcare, participatory research, postcolonial, pregnancy and parenting, responsiveness, safety



  1. Smith, Dawn PhD, RN
  2. Edwards, Nancy PhD, RN
  3. Varcoe, Colleen PhD, RN
  4. Martens, Patricia J. PhD, IBCLC
  5. Davies, Barbara PhD, RN


Poor access to prenatal care for Aboriginal people is well documented, and is explicated as an unethical barrier to care resulting from colonial and neocolonial values, attitudes, and practices. A postcolonial standpoint, participatory research principles, and a case study design were used to investigate 2 Aboriginal organizations' experiences improving care for pregnant and parenting Aboriginal people. Data were collected through exploratory interviews and small-group discussions with purposefully selected community leaders, providers, and community members. The study found that safety in healthcare relationships and settings, and responsiveness to individuals' and families' unique experiences and capacities must be brought into the forefront of care. Results suggest that the intention of care must be situated within a broader view of colonizing relations to improve early access to, and relevance of, care during pregnancy and parenting for Aboriginal people.