Join us in Celebrating Indigenous Milk Medicine Week
To bring awareness and normalize the act of body feeding, this week we have some amazing testimonials shared with us to honor Indigenous Milk Medicine Week, formerly named Native Breastfeeding Week. The theme this year is "Nourishing Our Futures" click the button below to read about some awesome women!
CWI's Position on Residential Schools and Additional Resources
Beautiful Words from Abigail Echo-Hawk
When they buried the children
what they didn't know
they were lovingly embraced by the land
held and cradled in a mother's heart
the trees wept for them, with the wind
they sang mourning songs their mothers
didn't know to sing
bending branches to touch the earth around them.
The creator cried for them
the tears falling like rain.
Mother Earth held them
until they could be found.
Now our voices sing the mourning songs
with the trees, the wind. Light scared fire
ensure they are never forgotten as we sing
For those who have been affected by this tragedy there is a Residential School Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419, please reach out if you are in need of support. For additional programs, please click the button below to be directed the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program Page. If you have any additional resources you would like CWI to share please feel free to contact any member of CWI.
CWI's COVID-19 Care Requirement updates
Changing Woman Initiative would like to update you on some changes we’ve made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has dramatically impacted the communities we serve in New Mexico. These measures were implemented under the strict guidance of the Department of Health, CDC, and CWI’s COVID - 19 Policy to protect and limit unnecessary exposure to the COVID-19, while continuing to provide care. Clients will be required to read and sign this agreement upon receiving care. Thank you and stay safe.
CWI Statement of Solidarity
Our Creation Story
Changing Woman Initiative was dreamed up by founder Nicolle L. Gonzales, Navajo Nurse-Midwife. After years of working as a midwife in her community and seeing many Native American women struggle with navigating western medical healthcare systems, she felt there was a better way that would center the needs of the women and families she cared for. Nicolle saw assimilation being practiced from birth on which has a huge impact on a Native American family’s ability to bring their loved ones into this world. She wanted to reinstate a culturally supported and include ceremonial ways into births that is representative of the community they come from.
Since 2015, Changing Woman Initiative has been growing public awareness around the continuously overlooked issues of Native American maternal health and the lack of Native American/ Indigenous representation within midwifery in the United States. We became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Spring 2018. During this time, CWI undertook a 12-month strategic planning process and digital storytelling project. We engaged with Native American women, families, midwives, doulas, and elders to discuss effective sustainable ways for Changing Woman Initiative to ensure access to decolonized Indigenously centered, accessible healthcare and traditional childbirth options for Native American women.
We are indigenous leaders and community healers, centering our families and communities, transforming the cultural narrative and setting in motion policy changes. Our mission is to support our diverse indigenous communities, to renew cultural birth, and the fundamental indigenous human right to reproductive health, dignity and justice.
Our vision is to restore the sovereignty of indigenous midwifery and community health with the return to gender equality and cultural birth practices.
To honor all our relations through language, land, ceremony, and traditions; with humility, responsibility, fortitude, compassion, generosity, and respect.