Department of Gender Studies

Department of Gender Studies
Department of Gender Studies

Karen Lawford

Karen Lawford in rock formation in a river

Tel (613) 533-6000 ext. 75079

Assistant Professor in Gender Studies
(Maternity care on reserves, Medical evacuation, Midwifery, Indigenous feminist theories and methodologies, Indigenous women and Two Spirit Leadership, Indigenous health and wellness, Health care)



Brief Biography

Dr. Lawford is an Aboriginal midwife (Namegosibiing (Lac Seul First Nation, Treaty 3) and a Registered midwife (Ontario). Her research focuses on the provision of maternity care for those who live on reserve and understanding the barriers to equitable reproductive health services. Currently, she is a Co-Investigator on a Status of Women Canada research project, entitled Empowering women leaders in health: Health care, health sciences, & Indigenous health. Dr. Lawford is the lead on Indigenous health and purposefully draws attention to Indigenous women and Two Spirit leaders in health.

Peer Reviewed Publications

 Nelson, C.R., Lawford, K.M., Darling, E.K., & Otterman, V. (July/August 2018). Mental health indicators among  pregnant Aboriginal women in Canada: Results from the Maternity Experiences Survey. Health  Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada, 38(7/8), 269-276. 
Darling, L., Lawford, K., Wilson, K., Kryzanauskas, K., & Bourgeault, I. (2018). Distance from homebirth to emergency obstetrical services and neonatal outcomes: A cohort study. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health (accepted and forthcoming).
Lawford, K.M., Giles, A.R., & Bourgeault, I.L. (2018). Canada's evacuation policy for pregnant First Nations women: Resignation, resilience, and resistance. Women and Birth. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2018.01.009
Lawford, K., & Giles, A.R. (2016). Kivalliq Inuit Centre boarding home and the provision of prenatal education. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 75, 32213.
Lawford, K. (2016). Locating invisible policies: Health Canada’s evacuation policy as a case study. Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice, 37, 2(2), 147-160.
Lawford, K., & Giles, A.R. (2012). Marginalization and coercion: Canada’s evacuation policy for pregnant First Nations women who live on reserves in rural and remote regions. Pimatisiwin, 10(3), 327-340.
Lawford, K., & Giles, A.R. (2012). An analysis of the evacuation policy for pregnant First Nations women in Canada. AlterNative, 8(3), 329-342.
Smylie, J., Fell, D., Ohlsson, A., & the Joint Working Group on First Nations, Indian, Inuit, and Métis Infant Mortality of the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System (2010). A review of Aboriginal infant mortality rates in Canada: Striking and persistent Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal inequities. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 101, 143-148.

Indigenous Peer Reviewed Publications

Stories and Teachings about Birth, 2017
Available at
Stories and Teachings about Infant Care, 2017
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Stories and Teachings about Pregnancy, 2017
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My Life, My Wellbeing, 2014
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Open Hearts, Open Minds: Services that are Inclusive of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Families, 2012
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Journey for Two: A Guidebook for When You’re Travelling Away From Home to Give Birth, 2009
Available at