The chief of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation in northern Manitoba is being praised for his efforts in helping with the unplanned home birth of a baby in his community.
Chief David Monias said he’s often contacted by community members in need of help, but the call he received on Monday morning was a first.
Monias was told that a local woman was giving birth in a washroom, so he contacted the local nursing station and ambulance, then headed over to the home to see what he could do to help out.
While Monias didn’t have to deliver the baby himself — the child’s grandmother was on hand to do that part of the job — he said he was happy that he was asked to get involved.
“This is the first time I have been called on to assist with a birth in my community,” he said.
“I am very pleased to share that a healthy baby was born at 10:21 a.m. This was the best call I have ever received in my role as chief, and I thank the family for reaching out to me in their time of need.”
Grand Chief Garrison Settee of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak said it’s not unusual for leaders of First Nations to have that level of involvement in the day-to-day life of community members.
“It’s a role where you are expected to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Settee.
“The pandemic has amplified the demand that is put upon our chiefs, and I commend all of them for the hard work they have done in responding to the challenges brought upon our communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”