LIZ LISKE (SHE/HER)
Prenatal, Labour, Birth, and Postpartum Support
Community | Yellowknife
Se’zi Liz Liske oh’te. Yellowknives Dene yati. Semo Ethel Liske. Setah Philip Liske.
Hello! My name is Liz Liske. I am a Yellowknives Dene First Nation member descendant of the Tetsǫ́t'ıné (copper) people that surround Great Slave Lake.
My mom is Ethel Liske and my dad is Philip Liske - my mother is from the Dehcho Region and my father is from the Akaitcho Region. I have strong ties to both these lands and waters and call both home.
I was born in Chief Drygeese Territory near and around Sombak’e, also known as Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I was raised in the community of Ndilo which is one of two settlements within my First Nation.
Currently, I sit on Chief and Council. I am an elected councillor and this is where I actively advocate for culture, language, tradition and spirituality plus for the protection of the land, water and animals.
I have a certificate in Indigenous Language Revitalization. I am currently on a language learning journey and am reclaiming my mother tongues: Dene Zhatį and Wiiliideh. My goal is to become a fluent speaker and incorporate the language into my every life and doula practice.
I hold an advisory position on the Regional Wellness Council with NWT Health and Social Services Authority where I share my Indigenous perspective and authentic experiences to help improve the healthcare systems.
I participated in the first doula course that was provided by Northern Birthwork Collective. This is where I thought I started my journey but I quickly realized I have been a doula for most of my life. Only in the Dene-way-of-life, we do not call them doulas they are typically an auntie (or grandma or cousin or relative). In Dene there are two ways to say auntie, we say Ehmbee (paternal) or Emǫǫ (maternal). Aunties are a magnitude of support in all aspects of life. I see myself as Emǫǫ (auntie) and I believe it’s our word for doula in my mother tongue because Emǫǫ is interchangeable. Our language is practical and poetic like that. In my doula-practice I will refer to myself as Emǫǫ, pronounced eh-moe, the “o” sound is long. I plan to normalize our Dene languages and indigenize birthwork by applying my Indigenous knowledge and actively using Indigenous languages.
Emǫǫ is kinship. When with clients I would like this form of relationship because I strongly believe that in birthwork experiences you should have kinship-like closeness and family-like energy exchanges. Emǫǫ is someone you can count on, feel comfortable with and rely on just like you would with an auntie or uncle figure. By using the Indigenous word: Emǫǫ I hope to embody this in all my visits and interactions. Emǫǫ has been birthworkering since time immemorial; simultaneously birthwork is natural to them and the practice has been passed down to them from generation to generation - it is our way of life.
I have two children; a dog name Po and I enjoy reading books. I am the third child out of four. And, lastly I would like to share that both sets of my grandparents have 13-children among them, so I have many aunties, uncles and cousins - Sehéh łąk kųę nádéh (my family) is important to me. There is a lot of love and laughter when you come from a big family and I hope that my birthwork journey always includes both.