JENNA BLANCHARD (SHE/HER)
Community | Yellowknife
I started my journey in the Northwest Territories seven years ago living along the Mackenzie River in the town of Inuvik. My experience there has humbled and guided me towards the work I am doing today. I acknowledge I am a settler on this Land. I grew up in Prince Edward Island, and of the traditional and unceded territory of the Abegweit Mi’kmaq First Nation. Moving here, I had little understanding of what gifts, growth and lessons I would receive seven years later; immersed in the vibrant and resilient cultures of the NWT.
I came to Inuvik working as a Licensed Practical Nurse at the Inuvik Regional Hospital on the Acute Care Unit. Here, I was able to provide Intrapartum and postpartum support to those accessing care.
During this time, I decided to go back to school to finish my degree as a Registered Nurse through Aurora College in Yellowknife. My intent in doing so was driven by my desire to offer care in Communities throughout the NWT, as well as be an advocate with a passion for change.
The past year and a half I transferred to Yellowknife at Stanton Territorial to train as a Labor and Delivery Nurse where I am currently providing labour and postpartum support. This role has been both rewarding and challenging as I navigate how to honour the needs of those accessing my care. I am passionate about providing safe spaces for all people accessing reproductive care and birth support in the NWT. I feel we can make a tangible difference through collaboration and valuing the knowledge and experiences of all lenses in this work.
The learning and unlearning I have gone through and will continue to do, is an example of my own shared experiences, stories, relationships built and opportunities of exploring this beautiful Territory; my love for the Land and those sharing these spaces is impactful in why I am proud to call the Northwest Territories home. I am learning that building relationship takes time, and I am committed to this process.
I have been connected to the Northern Birthwork Collective the past year and a half as a Steering Committee member, and now have transitioned to a new role as the Project Coordinator. I value the vision of the Collective that values person before policy. My vision of this work is to listen to community in this process, build relationships and advocate for the importance that all people have safe and supportive spaces to access reproductive care here in the NWT. I look forward to sharing this space with you all, and know my door is always open.