Red Cliff Artist Donates Work to Keep Doula Project Going

Birth of Nanabozho

Birth of Nanabozho

Most newborns emerge with big medical bills, but a group of area women has been giving moms-to-be priceless emotional support.

”We serve the community, and the community serves us,” said Erin Tenney of Bayfield, a volunteer doula with the Bami-Ondaadiziike Birth Doula Program. “It’s really a circle of giving.”

Since its start at the Red Cliff Health Center in 2005, the program has established a network of nearly a dozen trained doulas to help Chequamegon Bay-area women and their partners. Playing a role that’s existed since antiquity, doulas don’t replace a woman’s doctor or midwife. Rather, they provide services these others can’t always give — like help writing a birth plan or a giving a soothing massage during labor — which empower women to feel more in control of the situation.

And now, to help sustain the project’s grassroots efforts, the Ojibwe artist Rabbett Before Horses Strickland has given the program permission to use the image from “Birth of Nanabozho.” It’s a large oil painting that depicts the birth of Nanabozho, a central figure in Anishinabe cosmology, whose laboring mother Winoah is being supported by her husband, the spirit Epingishmook.
— Ashland Daily Press: A Circle of Giving, November 26, 2007