Ordre des sage-femmes du Québec

The Practice in Nunavik

The first maternity in Nunavik was created in 1986 in Puvirnituq some 25 years ago. The purpose was to respond to a need expressed by Inuit women to bring deliveries back to their community. Since the opening of maternities in Hudson Bay, a unique partnership has developed between midwives from the south, established health care teams and Inuit women. It allows Inuit women to give birth surrounded by their family and some of them to be trained as midwives. Students receive theoretical and clinical training in the maternities of Hudson Bay. At the present time, and although midwives started to practise in Ungava Bay in Kuujjuaq in 2009, training has not yet become available.

Following legalization of the practice in 1999, the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) was recognized as the only institution permitted to grant a diploma to acquire a work license. Inuit midwives then received restrictive licenses allowing them to work only in the North.

In 2008, after the insertion of the Regulation respecting the standards for equivalence of diplomas and training in the purpose of issuing a permit by the Ordre des sages-femmes du Québec, the Board of Directors of the OSFQ recognized the equivalence of Inuit midwives’ training. They received regular licenses, without territorial restrictions.

Now there are three maternities in Hudson Bay (Inukjuak, Puvirnituq and Salluit) and one in Ungava Bay, Kuujjuaq. Currently, there are eight practising midwives in Nunavik and six midwife students.

Working in Nunavik

The work of midwives in Nunavik offers appealing opportunities for midwives interested in taking on professional challenges, while working in an intercultural environment. Nunavik is also perfect for midwives interested in outdoor activities.

For general information about working in Nunavik, visit the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services website.

For more information about work in every health care centre, visit the following websites:

For more information about Inuit culture, the Pauktuutit Inuit Women’s Association wrote a great reference document named The Inuit Way: A Guide to Inuit Culture.

For more information about special authorization (authorization to practice in Nunavik for a midwife coming from another Canadian province other than Quebec), please contact us at info@osfq.org

Other questions?