Natalie is the mother of five children, and has been working as an independent traditional birth-keeper serving New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for 16 years. She has spearheaded many community initiatives including the “Birth Talk” movement and the “Broadview on Breastfeeding” support group, and is a pillar of wisdom for womyn all over the east coast of Canada and beyond. The Annual Womyn’s Summit is the heart-child of Natalie, master gatherer of wise womyn, brilliant star, stalwart advocate, a force to be reckoned with.
A fascinating combination of hippy warrior goddess and tenacious business woman, Mara is a Mother, International Yoga Teacher, Writer, Blogger, Creative Alchemist, Wellness Consultant, and Free Birth Junkie. She will co-create alongside you to navigate any blockages you may have, whether it be how to begin your own artistic business or how to nourish yourself to vitality. She’s also on board to help you break all self imposed rules and constraints so you can radiate in technicolor. Nomadic adventurer and wellness devotee, Mara leads programs and workshops all over the world.
Feminist, Traditional Birth Attendant, Placenta-Medicine Maker, Yoga Teacher, Writer, Songstress, Serial-Entrepreneur, so many things. With a deep reverence for traditional knowledge, natural healing, and old wisdom Kate strives to live an authentic life driven by passion and intuition. Travelling India, cooking in the remote Canadian bush, staying up well into the wee hours, and enjoying late morning coffee with herself are a few of her current inspirations. You can find Kate’s musings and wildcraft at Your Local Midwitch.
Lisa Leblanc is a mother, a dancer, a community leader, and an experienced traditional birth-keeper working in the Moncton, New Brunswick area. Lisa leads the popular and enlightening “Moncton Village Prenatals” group, which meets monthly to share and to keep pregnancy and birth wisdom that has been passed down from wombyn to wombyn for generations.
Shannon is a yoga teacher, fertility awareness teacher, a writer, and a mother. She founded Ocean Yoga in 2013 to fulfill her vision of yoga as a therapy that changes along with the cyclical shifts we flow through, with the moon and throughout our lives. Shannon writes fiction and blogs on wellness. Some of the topics she writes about include: yoga sequences, the vision quest of giving birth freely and wildly in her living room, and healing her own nearsightedness. Shannon loves foraging mushrooms in the forest and opening her eyes under water while she swims in the ocean and lakes.
Unravel the mysteries of ovulation. Why do we feel full of energy, radiant, confident, and sexy during ovulation? Why do our cycles sync up with each other when we live together? Why do our menstrual cycles sometimes vary in length? How does pharmaceutical birth control stop ovulation? Learn how to determine when you are ovulating to encourage or prevent pregnancy. Bring your own questions about ovulation and let’s share our wisdom.
Shannon will also lead a sunrise silent walk through the woods to Woodens River. Listen to the sounds of the river before you see her. Wash away whatever it is that you need to let go of.
Kadijah has taken a meandering journey through the arts having spent time singing, writing, and painting, but her deepest passion rests in the realm of world music, most specifically, hand drumming. Her drum journey began in 1985, when she witnessed a spontaneous performance by Chi Sharpe in a Toronto after-hours club. She was moved to ask Chi if he would be willing to give her lessons and later found out that Chi had been the percussionist for Harry Belafonte and Bruce Cockburn. She has studied with many master drummers including Famoudou Konate of West Africa, Ken Shorely in Wolfville NS, Tori Morill and Shirsten Lundblad in Maine, Tommy Be in North Carolina, the Women Frame Drummer of Cyprus and Professor Trichy Sankaran( solkattu and kanjira). You can find more information on Kadijah at Drum Spirit.
Though Kadijah teaches a variety of styles she has been focusing, for the past six years, on an ancient Women’s drumming tradition from the middle east, North Africa and the Mediterranean. This style is played on the tar (frame drum) and incorporates chanting and circle dance. Kadijah will speak about this tradition and offer a hands-on workshop. There will be extra drums on hand, but please bring yours if you have one.
Maryz is an artist & musician who has been teaching Yoga for over twenty years. Her centres of interest weave Earth/Body wisdom, Yoga, creative arts, rituals, sound healing and dance. She is co-founder of the spiritual music ensemble called SuryaChandra, which has produced three albums of mantric music. She is also co-creator with visual artist Viki Ogden of “Animistic Yoga; embodying Nature’s wisdom”, a deck of oracle Yoga cards. To know more about Maryz visit Yogic Tranceformation.
Womyn’s Voice || Womyn’s Power
She who speaks, who sings, who prays, who calls for vision; She who creates and manifests her dreams on this earthly plane is a woman of power. We all have a voice, unique to our own inner essence; a vibratory medicine that helps to shifts the frequency of ourselves and our surroundings. In these time of accelerated changes, the voices of the feminine are crucial. We need the whole spectrum, our voices as one, to create harmony, balance and a positive change within and around us. In this journey, we will raise our vibration through chanting together. We will honour our body temple with gentle yogic stretches. We will do vocal toning and harmonize ourselves with the five elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air & Ether. We will explore the power of mantras and that of clear intentions.
Maryz and her sister-moon-energy, Michelle, of SuryaChandra will also be leading us in a Goddess Kirtan Friday night.
What is Kirtan, you ask?
Close your eyes sweet soul sisters and surrender inward, into the very Heart of Life and Creation. Ride the waves of mantric melodies, vibrations and rhythms into sacred silence and inner stillness. Let us weave the joyful instruments of our voices until they merge to become the One Infinite and Divine Song. Enter the Temple of the Heart – a place of love, refuge and delight – and let us be reunited with the Divinity that resides within all of us.
Maryz and Michelle are Moon Sisters, Muses of Mystical Music and Movement. As Yoginis they delight in weaving their yogic passions together with the ecstatic and devotional practice of mantra chanting. They have been hosting sacred movement, sound healing, and Kirtan circles together for over a decade. Both are foundational members of SuryaChandra (www.SuryaChandra.net), a spiritual music ensemble that has toured North America sharing Bhakti traditions. They are honoured to be part of the Sisterhood and trust the healing and transformative power of gathering women. Join them for Kirtan, an ancient practice of call-and-response chanting that merges music, singing, mantra, yoga, community, and meditation to create a blissful “vibrational” massage – one that reconnects us with our Divine Hearts and each other.
To know more about Maryz visit, www.yogictranceformation.net. To know more about Michelle visit, www.fallriveryoga.com.
Tina’s love of creative movement began young. You would find her creating dances for friends, family, and pets. Now, with 18 years of experience, Tina dances, teaches, and creates choreography professionally.
“I started dance classes at age 20 – a late age for a dancer, with ballet and modern, but I practiced every day! Living and working in Moncton I met my first bellydance instructor Barbra Aubie, owner of Studio Sephira. Barb took me under her wing, and I became an asset to the studio. During this time I had two beautiful children and eventually parted ways with Studio Sephira, to create traveling classes in rural areas. I also began to teach and perform for companies such as ‘The Academy of Classical Ballet and Modern Dances’, and ‘Sadira’s Bellydance Fitness’ in Dieppe, NB. I taught technique, choreographies, and guided class participants through the process of recitals and larger productions. I also created a Bellydance Fitness class for ‘Baladi Fitness’ in Moncton NB.
I continued to take workshops with world-renowned instructors, as well as obtaining various fitness certificates. My latest certificate was a Middle Eastern Dance Teacher Training, level 3.
Hadia, a world-renowned dancer, performer and master instructor, has been my mentor for the past 8 years. Studying one-on-one, we spent time dissecting the intricacies of bellydance movement, primarily in the classical style.
This past decade has created some talented and hard working professional bellydancers. In 2012 I collaborated with a dance studio in Yarmouth Nova Scotia. We created a workshop that highlights local instructors. This event became a weekend retreat that would showcase folkloric dance, classical bellydance, and recently some fusion. I worked on this weekend long event for three consecutive years.
In November 2011 I returned back to beautiful Nova Scotia. A month after returning home I found myself performing and participating in classes at Serpentine Studios. Here I have performed in many student showcases, as well as three major productions. I have volunteered my time to performing in events such as drum fest, multicultural, and Nocturne. I am also a key dancer for performances such as weddings, cooperate events and restaurant shows.
As of late I have also been teaching in Tantallon and Hubbards NS, as well as creating showcases for “The Peggy’s Cove Area Festival of the Arts, and for Paul’s Halls, a local music hall.
Looking forward, I hope to pass on my knowledge to other dancers, specifically in the classical style. I hope to continue learning, creating and performing for many years.”
Tina will be providing tantalizing evening entertainment to get our hips moving and our shakti flowing!
Anastasia Akasha Kaur
Anastasia has devoted her life to the study of just how to achieve health and happiness through the choices we make in each and every moment. The cornerstones of her approach are yoga and holistic nutrition. Anastasia is a graduate of Esther Myer’s 700 hour Yoga Teacher Training Program, The Kundalini Research Institute’s Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa’s Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training, and The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Anastasia’s professional pursuits have led her down many paths. She’s owned and operated an organic bakery, wildcrafting business, and helped manage a busy downtown Toronto health food store. She is also the creator of Anointment Natural Skin Care, now one of Canada’s premier holistic cosmetic companies. Anastasia currently lives on a farm in Nova Scotia where she offers yoga classes and wellness workshops to the community. Seek Anastasia out at www.anastasiaakashakaur.com.
Moving Through Fear: Give Birth to Your Highest Self with Kundalini Yoga
There are two universal forces at work in our lives: the force of Love and the force of Fear. Fear is a lower vibrational energy that is taking us away from our source. Love is a higher vibrational energy that is taking us toward our source – who we really are. In each and every moment, you get to choose. At this time we are being called to go deep within ourselves and discover our Spirit – our supreme intelligence that when activated uplifts us and the energy of the whole planet. Discover how Kundalini Yoga and Meditation can help you move through fear and give birth to your highest self.
Allyson McQuinn, DHHP (Diploma Homeopathy Heilkunst Program), DMH (Doctor of Medical Heilkunst), JAOH (Post Graduate Journeyman in Anthroposophical Orgonomic Physical), is a Doctor of Heilkunst Medicine with almost twenty years of research behind her. She co-owns Arcanum Wholistic Clinic, where she treats patients internationally by phone and Skype, using the scientific principles of Medical Heilkunst to treat patient’s sequential timelines, relieving them of their shocks and traumas of an emotional and physical nature. Allyson lives as a digital nomad, writing for a variety of publications, lecturing, and serving patients worldwide with her resonant partner, and fellow Heilkünstler, Jeff Korentayer, B.A. Psych., DHHP, DMH. She’s an avid hiker and photojournalist for a variety travel magazines. Allyson also has a beautiful and healthy daughter who was also homeschooled and now works with Allyson as an editor on the publishing side her business.
Allyson will lead a workshop exploring her current research, culminating in her latest book, in the area of “Self-Education.” Allyson is currently delving into the history of the patriarchal education system and how we got to the present “dominator” model and why. She will also discuss how this model is affecting the children that she serves in her clinic on weekly basis.
Mimi started weaving a few years back when she moved to Toronto, as a method to help cope with anxiety and depression. “I have always been an aesthete, and find my greatest clarity through craft.” Mimi is back in Halifax now, and has been honing her practice by teaching workshops. We learn so much when we are able to see our skill through someone else’s perspective, and the route that they take to achieve their vision. Mimi hopes to further expand on her abilities by incorporating natural dying and installation pieces into her repertoire. For Mimi, working with womyn and like-minded feminine energies is very important for her psyche & growth and she is very much looking forward to sharing this space. Find more of Mimi’s musings at Lion Hunter.
Womyn Weaving Together
Mimi will lead us in a hands-on crafting workshop, creating funky, fresh wall hangings and home decor with beautiful wools, thread, and ribbon. You can check out some of Mimi’s work and inspirations on her groovin’ Instagram feed.
**There is an additional fee for this workshop to cover the cost of the beautiful and mindfully-chosen materials that will be used: $25 payable at The Summit**
Kerri has been performing and teaching acrobatics, yoga, dance, and aerial arts for over 15 years throughout the world. Her life’s work, as an artist and a leader, has been to develop and deepen her study of the body—physically, emotionally and spiritually. She has learned that anything is possible with patience, persistence, and a positive attitude. Kerri expresses her passion and spirit through movement, and feels that the body is the gateway to the higher powers for healing, transformation and expression. She is a co-founder of Sweet Can Circus and the founder/director of Sweet Retreats, bringing people together to learn new skills, live in community, and ‘be themselves.’ She loves to help people reach beyond their perceived limits and strive for new heights. “Believe in yourself, and live BIG.”
Buddhi Booty Bounce: A Sacred Twerkshop Unleashing the Power of the Pelvis
Imagine a world where everyone feels safe to express. Imagine a world where all bodies are liberated and empowered. Unleash the power of the pelvis, merge the sacred with the profane, and throw your booty to the sky! Relax and let gravity do the rest. We will start by creating a safe container for exploration and expression, warming up and loosening the spine and pelvic regions, breath work, stretching, and moving consciously into twerking. In addition to learning twerk technique, this workshop is also designed to be a safe place for people to explore, and possibly move through self-perceived limits, judgements and social conditioning. Everyone is welcome- all genders, all shapes and sizes. No experience necessary. Please dress appropriately in comfortable clothing.
Kerri will also lead us in Ecstatic Dance on Saturday night! We will start with group exercises to create a safe space and open up our bodies for movement. This will lead us into free form, ecstatic dance.
Lindsie Violette Tardif
Lindsie is a 34 year old women, wife and home birthing mother of two precious souls. She’s been on a conscious spiritual journey since her mid teens when she discovered James Redfield’s ”The Celestin Prophecies” and Neale Donald Walsch’s ”Conversations with God”. She’s been a Doula and a Reiki practitioner for over 6 years and to add some yang to her yin, she’s a high school science teacher who loves to analyze events and relationships in her quest for spiritual growth.
Our Spiritual Journey with the Kindred Souls we Birth
Our perception of them is a reflection of us. How can we find peace in recognizing ourselves in that reflection? Finding ourselves and our purpose in life can be quite the challenge but thankfully we have been given the amazing gift of kindred souls. By looking at our relationship with our children through the eyes of our inner child, we can see our relationship with our own parents and the trauma we may still carry. Recognizing how our childhood experiences have shaped the way we perceive our relationships and the world we live in can be very helpful in our quest to become aware of our true selves.
**Lindsie offered this workshop at Womyn’s Summit 2016 in French. Now, by popular demand, she’s back to offer it to our Anglophone sisters**
Love Life, Live love, these are the words that guide Courtney through her life as Mamma, Yoga Teacher, Lover, and Wild Woman. As a worshipper of the natural world, she has spent hours tucked away in the solitude of long Prairie grasses watching the endless blue sky roll on above her. She comes alive at the smell of the forest, the saltiness of the Sea air, or marvelling at the wonder of the mountains. A mix of an old soul and a perpetual child, Courtney’s passions are varied and deep. Poetry, writing, painting, playing with children, being with horses, pregnancy and birth, caring for others, sunshine, moonlight, moss, music, and exploring her ever changing roles in this Earthly journey are all things that light her up inside. A creature of constant metamorphosis she works to deepen her understanding of the beauty and power in the cycle of Life, Death, and Rebirth. A gifted holder of space, she creates a vessel of transformation in which you are invited to wake up to the full potential of your Spirit.
Raina McDonald & Mandy Sandbach
Artist. Yoga Teacher. Doula. Grower of organic food. Seed saver. Mother. Awake woman. Raina lives & creates with her partner, their two wild & free young daughters & an evolving local and visiting community on their homestead in Brookland, NS. Playing with the early stages of an edible forest garden, she experiences nature as teacher and body as exquisite conduit for spiritual/energetic expression. Raina is passionate about inspiring conscious change that begins with personal evolution. Conversations, collaborations and actions that move us beyond the status quo and into new/ancient ways of being is where you’ll find her. Weaving magic with Mandy Sandbach and other wise womyn ignites her soul. For more visit rainamcdonald.com & randrhandmade.com.
Mandy is a mother, partner, intuitive permaculture designer, steward and lover of SOIL, colon hydrotherapist, reflexologist, gardener, farmer, Re WILDER, supporter of community gardens and awakened community. Regeneration of SOUL and SOIL has been the intuitive, sacred and creative expression used to describe Mandy’s collaboration with Raina McDonald.
Regeneration of Soul and Soil
A morning of collaborative land-based art with Raina McDonald & Mandy Sandbach.
Plugging in to our unique, sacred essence while feeling the pulse of sisterhood. Awakening with remembrance, embodying ancient wisdom that speaks through our cells and leads us into our intentional future. Looking to the organic, unfolding nature of permaculture as a mirror for an open, thriving physical body and supportive community that is built on diversity.
We’ll begin with reminding ourselves that we are “experts” of our own lives and take that into intuitive permaculture design. Intuitive Permaculture will then be introduced and experienced in a hands-on, body and soul-led collaboration. Birthing a creation that is site specific and regenerative, we will then flow out into our worlds with new perspectives to activate conscious engagement with our selves, each other and the Earth.
A nurse, Yogini, food-grower, traveller, teacher, creator, student of life, etc., Jodie is returning for the second time to the WoMyn’s Summit to be among inspiring women and lead a morning Yoga class. Residing in Moncton NB, Jodie spends her time working at the Moncton Hospital, teaching Yoga (Hatha/Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative), traveling, planting gardens, making sourdough bread, dancing, and growing her hair. Jodie has experience caring for bodies since the age of 15 when she began working at a nursing home. She then became a Resgistered Nurse which has brought her overseas to Bangladesh on a medical mission trip in 2012 and in various areas of medicine including Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and Neuroscience. Having discovered Yoga at a young age through studying martial arts and various teachers, Jodie became a certified Yoga Teacher in 2015 and has been teaching at studios and music and art festivals in Eastern Canada. She believes that health and well-being extend beyond the physical and is on a journey to bridge Eastern and Western health and philosophy together in her community through her work
Join Jodie for a gentle morning yoga practice accessible to all women in all stages of life. In this class you be lead into breathing practices, postures to move the spine and develop internal strength, and end with Restorative Yoga. Please bring a small blanket or shawl which we will use for added comfort!
Restorative Yoga is a quiet, internal, meditative practice to eliminate patterns of holding and tension in the body. We use props to support the body to begin to let go, inviting the Relaxation Response and Rest-and-Digest response of the body’s nervous system to restore the natural harmony within the body.
Chantal is a mother of two, wife to her wildest love and a self-taught artist-photographer. She is a free spirited daydreamer, an introvert, a feminist, a lover of strong coffee, and she delights in the powerful teachings of motherhood, birth, art, solitude, nature, yoga and adventure. She leads with her intuition and she believes that true beauty lies in love, connection and honesty. Chantal discovered her love for creating art through photography soon after her son was born in 2012. She left her career as an insurance underwriter to stay home with her sweet baby, and photography began as a way to carve out time for herself, while documenting her son’s childhood and her life as a new mother. Her art is cathartic and now a huge part of her life and in the midst of motherhood and family, she nurtures a tiny photography business while still remaining true to her heart and to the reasons why she began. Chantal defines success for herself as living and expressing her truth, in all extensions of her being. You can view her work at www.tallgrassphotobychantal.com
The Art of Light – Photography Workshop
We will meet after sunrise and walk together, as we explore all types of available light and learn to *see*and *feel* this light in order to use it intentionally to create and enhance a photograph.
Light tells a story, it creates a mood, and it adds texture and depth to your art. Light is magic; it makes everything around us visible; it draws our attention and if used to its full potential, it can amplify the storytelling, the emotion, movement and connection in an image. No flash… Let’s be inspired by the light that surrounds us; notice what moves you, what catches your eye, what makes you feel something… and make a photograph that is meaningful to you. How and where you see beauty in the world, in each fleeting moment, is completely unique to you, this is your truth.
This workshop is for all photography lovers, at all stages of your journey. I won’t be focusing on the technical aspects of photography, cameras etc. This light walk is simply to help you feel at ease with the core of photography; all types of light so you can push your creativity without limits. Feel free to bring our own camera for a more hands-on experience, but if you prefer to listen and soak in what we share together, that would be delightful too!
Christine is a mother, organic gardener, and creator of a small, caring business, YoglowA, in Sackville, NB. She is university educated in matters of the environment and anthropology, a trained Doula and keeper of birthing wisdom, yoga teacher and advocate for the Hypopressive technique for women’s optimum pelvic health. She loves sharing her knowledge and experience in creative, cross cultural ways and is dedicated to supporting women re-claiming their inner power to be healthy, gutsy women.
Deep Core Strength: Yoni Lifting
In this workshop we look into current marketing strategies that aim to ‘normalize’ urinary leaking and the use of adult diapers and what we can do to prevent such unhealthy promotions and boost our body confidence. Participants will be introduced to CoreGlow, a new, revolutionary, scientifically proven technique highly recommended by pelvic floor physiotherapists for core rehabilitation and optimum pelvic floor health for women (and men). This Hypopressive™ technique can rebuild the integrity of the pelvic floor after the downward force of giving birth as well as strengthening the abdomen, esp. after a c-section, lifting internal organs back to their healthy locations to prevent organ prolapse. I will encourage women to begin acquiring practical skills by exploring one or two beginner postures and introduce them to the effective low pressure breathing technique. Participating will help women feel why this is a tool to achieve results in a stimulating way that provides pleasure and well being. Gaining this internal strength also allows women to set better boundaries in life. What a gift for ourselves and daughters. Let’s not let society normalize adult diapers. Let’s celebrate our pelvic health.
Samulina is a free-spirited mother of five wild cocos, and the past nine years of parenting have been filled with love and lessons. She has experienced all angles of birth: C-Section, VBAC, homebirth with traditional attendants, and unassisted free-birth. She started Dancing Dandelions Postpartum Doula Services in order to help women receive the support they require and deserve after giving birth. She also offers herbal care and placenta encapsulation. She is proudly self and tribe taught. Samulina is excited to help women feel sexy in their new bodies as well as getting sexy-time in as a new mom or mama with multiple children.
Let’s Talk About SEX, Baby!
As a mother of five with nine years of parenting behind her so far, Sam is often asked about sex and how to keep the spark alive with little ones and big distractions around every corner. Through talking to dozens of women about this very topic, as well as living it, Sam has gained insight into two very important things: mistakes to avoid and strategies for keeping passion alive post-baby. Topics covered will include, but not be limited to: co-sleeping, dry-spells (and how to end them), building postpartum self esteem, and staying sexy in a world bent upon fake beauty, excessive make up, and slutty fashion trends.
This will be a fun, candid, and important discussion about motherhood, womanhood, and how to balance being great parents, great friends and great partners in the face of all the pressure we face every single day.
Heres to being happy, healthy, and horny women!!
Hung Yeh Peisinger
When I was a teenager, I met this wise old man (Öpo) with a long grey beard. He was a healer and he introduced me to the art of Homeopathy. I was immediately fascinated by Homeopathy because it is completely “out there”. Medicines made from dolphin’s milk, spider venom, precious metals, poisonous plants, spit of a rabid dog, just to name a few. This medicine is wild and magical. No wonder people can’t wrap their minds around it. That friendship with Öpo planted a seed that blossomed two decades later, when I moved to Nova Scotia to follow my guru Chogyam Trungpa. While pregnant and breastfeeding my second child in 1992, I started to delve into the alchemical world of Homeopathy. Five years later, I opened up my practice White Lotus Homeopathy in Halifax. My intrepid and eccentric Chinese mother had a brother and uncles who were all Chinese Medicine practitioners. My mother always had a deep interest in this ancient form of healing. When she begged her uncle to train her, she got a curt answer “ women don’t do this”. So, in a way, in terms of thousands of years of Chinese “women-don’t-do-this” history, I have the great fortune to be able to break the family tradition of only men being practitioners, and I not so jokingly tell people that i am a witchdoctor!
I am an addicted Argentine Tango dancer and teacher, and Iyengar/Ashtanga trained yoga practitioner/ instructor. Am also a Shambhala Buddhist since forever. Born in Taiwan, growing up in Germany, having raised a family in Nova Scotia, I am a citizen of the world.
This workshop aims to introduce you to the complex, powerful and mind boggling system of healing – homeopathy, and will give practical advise on how to use homeopathic remedies in situations like FIRST AID, and common acute conditions such as flus, earaches, stomach upsets, teething, colic.
Melissa is a Museum Technician for Nova Scotia Museum, currently on a two-year leave from her work to be with her two children. When she isn’t turning her front yard into a food forest or exploring her culinary skills she enjoys discovering the pleasure of pottery through the eyes of her three-year-old. Melissa loves immortalizing moments and is volunteering for the second consecutive year as the Womyn’s Summit photographer.
>>More 2017 Womyn’s Summit Speakers and Workshops to be announced<<
>>> Past Keynote Speakers & Leaders <<<<<
Maryn founded the Indie Birth Association in 2007. She began her journey in birth with her first child’s planned hospital birth is 2002. Disillusioned, she hired a midwife and had a homebirth with her second child, a son, and the rest is history. Maryn began a midwifery apprenticeship in Chicago when her son was only 4 months old, and continued learning in this ancient tradition for over 5 years. Her apprenticeship brought her to Arizona with her family in 2007, and she went on to become a state licensed midwife from 2009-12. During that period, Maryn discovered the truth about midwifery and birth that is “owned” by the State, and returned her license so that she could truly serve mamas, babies and her own Heart and Soul. During this time, Indie Birth evolved to become an internationally well-known radical resource for women and midwives seeking information, research and intuitive guidance and support that has remained mainly in the hands of traditional midwives or “birth servants”. Her podcast series, “Taking Back Birth” has been downloaded by tens of thousands of people, all over the world. Maryn is passionate about continuing to learn, study and research while honouring our past as true “wise women”. Maryn lives in Sedona, Arizona with her husband of 16 years and is mama to 8 children and many animals.
The path Sister took to seek the fullest expression of her divine nature was the path of instinctual living. It led her back into the simple and sacred ways of her Cherokee ancestors and forward into preserving those wisdom ways through ritual, story telling and community building with others longing to rebirth their own instinctual nature. “Always there is a story,” say the native elders and healers. There is indeed a long and beautiful story between those early awareness’s and the now full life Sister Morningstar enjoys as a Catholic Mystic, Cherokee Hermitess, Founder of MorningStar Community and Order of Morning Star Sisters and MorningStar Yoga, Owner of Shanti Publications and co-owner of Soul Blossom, lifetime volunteer for C.A.S.A, while being a mother, midwife, and visionary sojourner with you.
Carla created the first distance education program for midwives—Apprentice Academics—in 1981. In 1994 the name was changed to Ancient Art Midwifery Institute. She is the author of Helping Hands, The Apprentice Workbook, and several educational publications relating to birth. She has spent close to thirty years in birth work of one kind or another: childbirth educator, midwife, author, speaker, and midwifery educator, and she is the mother of four children and Baba to six. Carla is the founder and director of the Trust Birth Initiative whose primary work is telling the truth: Birth is Safe; Interference is Risky.
Shiela is an independent homebirth doula, mother, nurse, author of Birthing the Easy Way, and believer in women and birth. She has written articles for Compleat Mother magazine, New Beginnings Magazine, Birth and Baby Magazine, and Mothers at Home Magazine and has been attending homebirths since 1986. She is not a midwife. Traditionally, a birth attendant was simply an experienced woman who came to help with – not to be in charge of – a woman’s birth process. Sheila is proud to have no certification with any doula organizations, and therefore doesn’t subscribe to any organization’s rules. Her philosophy is to allow the mother and her partner to manage their birth on their own terms.
Molly is an American homebirth midwife, reproductive health advocate, and educator, specializing in supporting pregnancy loss and abortion. She works with a full spectrum of reproductive experiences and supports individuals and families in finding the best options for themselves, including traditional, home- and plant-based alternatives. She teaches workshops on a variety of subjects within alternative reproductive healthcare aiming to provide empowered support for our complicated and fluid reproductive lives. She has taught hundreds of people the art and science of alternative fertility management, honouring its roots, and exploring its potential to change the way we relate to our bodies, our fertility, and our bleeding. She also loves catching babies and supporting birthing and postpartum families.