Restoring The Sacred Bond

The Restoring the Sacred Bond Initiative seeks to improve maternal and child health, build strengths, cultural identity, and social outcomes in Manitoba's First Nations communities through access to culturally grounded birth helpers.


Restoring The Sacred Bond LogoAbout the Restoring The Sacred Bond initiative

Restoring the Sacred Bond is a two-year pilot project under the governance of the Southern Network that will match Indigenous Birth Helpers with Indigenous mothers who are at risk of having their infant apprehended into the child welfare system.

The goal of the Initiative is to reignite the power of Manitoba's First Nations women for the health of our children, families and communities.

Visit the Initiative Website

  • We are honoured to have been chosen to deliver the programming for the Restoring The Sacred Bond Initiative. Because we believe that the health of our communities starts with our women as they move through the birth cycle, we believe this Initiative will have a positive effect on the wellness of First Nations communities for generations to follow.
    - Board of Directors, Wiijii’Idiwag Ikewwag

Program Overview

Restoring the Sacred Bond is a two-year pilot program which will match Birth Helpers with Indigenous mothers who are at risk of having their infant apprehended into the child welfare system.

The program will support up to 200 at-risk expectant mothers before, during and after birth.

The Southern Network is leading the Initiative and working in partnership with the service provider, Wiijii’idiwag Ikwewag, to identify expectant mothers in Winnipeg who may not have resources to effectively parent their baby.

These mothers will then be connected to Birth Helpers, who are women trained to help with childbirth and early care.

Indigenous Birth Helpers

Each Birth Helper will serve up to ten to twelve mothers at a time for nine to twelve months per mother.

Birth Helpers will support mothers in the following ways:

  • Build a relationship based on trust
  • Co-write a support plan
  • Refer to resources
  • Educate on pregnancy and parenting
  • Introduce to Indigenous ceremonies
  • Give emotional, physical and spiritual support during labour
  • Guidance through CFS processes
  • Build a circle of support
  • Link to mental illness or addiction treatment


Related News & Updates

News Release: Restoring the Sacred Bond Community Launch

The Southern First Nations Network of Care (SFNNC) and Wiijii’idiwag Ikwewag invites you to a sacred feast and ceremony to honour and bless it’s new initiative, Restoring the Sacred Bond.

News Release: Manitoba's First Social Impact Bond Successfully Secures Investment

Doula Project for At-Risk Indigenous Mothers Ready to Launch in Fall 2019

CTV News: Pilot Project aims to "Restore the Sacred Bond"

CTV host Maralee Caruso, speaks to Jolene Mercer (Executive Director of the Initiative) and Tara Petti (CEO, Southern Network) to learn about Manitoba's first social impact bond, the Restoring the Sacred Bond Initiative.

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