Sovereignty from first breath
Who We Are
The Alaska Native Birthworkers Community is a grassroots group of volunteer Alaska Native reproductive justice advocates, full circle birth helpers (doulas), childbirth educators, breastfeeding counselors, healers, caregivers, public health researchers, scholars, parents, aunties, and a midwife organizing to reclaim Indigenous birth practices and support families from preconception through postpartum with culturally-matched care.
What We're Working Toward
We envision sovereignty for Alaska Native people from our first breaths on Earth, through the reclamation of our power during rites of passage that are rooted in ancestral knowledge, and each birthing person being surrounded by their community in connection to their sacred lands and waters.
What We Offer
- Informational, emotional, physical support during preconception, pregnancy, loss, birth, and postpartum
- Community dialogues
- Collection and redistribution of food and maternity, newborn, and breastfeeding support items
AKNBC Founders L-R: Charlene Apok, Stacey Lucason with Olga Lucason, Abra Patkotak, Helena Jacobs, Margaret David with Tala David. Not pictured: Stefanie Cromarty.
The Alaska Native Birthworkers Community seeks to formalize and grow a network of Alaska Native birthworkers who feel confident, competent and grounded in cultural values to support Native birthing families for better health and wellness outcomes for parents and babies, while also advocating for systemic change to better support Alaska Native birthing families. We do this through offering free direct services to Native birthing families, free access to capacity building and training for current and aspiring Indigenous birthworkers, and by building partnerships for collective impact on a statewide, national, and international scale.
I was so afraid to open up about my pregnancy (which I later realized was rooted in my fear/trauma from white medical professionals), but the doulas/mothers/midwife with Alaska Native Birthworkers Community provided me with the courage & support I desperately needed throughout my pregnancy & birth to have ‘sovereignty from their first breath’. Forever grateful for this group…
The care and love that I felt and received from Lena and Margaret helped prepare me as I transitioned into labor and birth. Lena gifted me an affirmation as I was in labor, reminding me that my ancestors and loved ones were with me and reassuring me that my body was made to birth my son. Margaret was my midwife throughout my second pregnancy and also came to catch my sonny even on her day off. From the moment she walked in to the labor room, I felt a calming presence, like I was ready to deliver my son with sincere support. It was a healing experience that I am so grateful for. I am forever thankful for the Alaska Native Birthworkers Community doing this work so others have access to this same love, care, comfort and reassurance.
AKNBC was an invaluable resource for me when I was pregnant, in labor, & now also as I'm navigating early motherhood. While I was pregnant I felt so overwhelmed and AKNBC provided me with critical information and a network of people that provided a level of support I couldn't find anywhere else. Thanks to AKNBC I am connected to indigenous doulas, midwives, & mothers who are sharing & honoring our sacred ways of bringing life into the world and I couldn't be more grateful.
"I think as women we forget that we deserve the loving support of others. I am so grateful of time I’ve spent with this circle of women. I was able to express my fears and joys in a safe environment with no judgement. I had Stacey as a doula for my homebirth that really was key to my peaceful birth. The meal train that was set up from Moh for postpartum, the Hypnobirthing affirmations printed out for my birthing space that Lena provided and the zoom connection calls with them all are something I’ll forever cherish. The work here is needed...