Communication and Engagement Learning and Teaching Grants Stories

Learning and Teaching Grant: Supporting Indigenous Midwifery Students

Karline Wilson-Mitchell, Director

Denise Mcleod, Aborignal Student Coordinator

Midwifery Education Program

Karline Wilson-Mitchell, director of the Midwifery Education Program (MEP), and Denise B. Mcleod, Aboriginal student coordinator for the MEP program, chose to focus on supporting Indigenous students in the midwifery program at Toronto Metropolitan University for their LTG grant.

The primary goal of their project was to support Aboriginal student success through the MEP program. According to Denise, past Indigenous midwifery students who went through the MEP program did not find a specific space for them to gather because of the nature of their work and schedules. They would often miss programs that happened at TMU for Indigenous students and heavily advocated for a coordinator in the MEP program. 

The student coordinator supports students in day-to-day tasks such as navigating the city, finding adequate housing and providing support in financing. Before the pandemic, the coordinator provided feasts and monthly social meal gatherings.

The project’s deliverables were to continue providing these support in new ways through the online setting. The coordinator hosts virtual feasts and social gatherings. A virtual student lounge was also set up where students can reach the coordinator. Denise has also created videos for the MET Teacher Learner portal. While the portal is accessible to all students, Indigenous students can find specific areas within the website geared towards them. Karline hopes that this project can later be used to provide the dean and the university with valuable quantitative and qualitative data.