DEHGA SCOTT (SHE/HER)
I am Tłı̨chǫ Dene, from Yellowknife, NT. My grandparents are the late Joe Suzie and Julie Mackenzie of Behchoko. I am a mother of two children and one angel. I come from a long line of strong leaders and my great grandmother was a traditional midwife throughout the Tłı̨chǫ Territory.
A story I love hearing about is the story of when my grandfather Joe Suzie was born. He was born in mid-April when his parents were out on the land hunting. When his mother went into labour they were travelling by dog team and her labour progressed quickly. His father was trying to get back to the village for help although with her labour progressing, they had to stop and set up camp. They were able to set up camp and lay spruce boughs on the ground just in time for my grandfather to be born. This story is special as it shows how strong women really are, traveling by dog team, going into labour, then having to stop on a cold spring night, set up camp with no help, give birth to a baby and then pack everything up and continue on their journey.
I have always been interested in birth work from a young age, I originally wanted to become a midwife; although my life has since taken me on a different path. Working within the medical field at various jobs, I saw the gap within our healthcare system and wanted to create change. I wanted to understand why Indigenous parents who live in remote communities are required to leave for the birth of their child without support from family and friends and with a disconnect from culture and traditions. My goal when I went to school was to create change within the birth community, and the way I believe we can do that is by creating an Indigenous Birthworkers Training program that revitalizes our traditional birthing practices and by bringing communities together as we support new parents in their journey.
In addition to this work, I am also finishing my Indigenous Governance Degree with Yukon University.