For some First Nations people, wanting to remain in or return to their community to die is very important, and an integral part of their plan for their final journey to the Spirit World. To make this possible, support and care are needed. In many First Nations communities, there are often people who provide this kind of care naturally, however, remaining in community to die isn't always an option.
Training is now offered and recognized in a similar way to a birth doula. First Nations Health Authority and Douglas College are working together to offer the End of Life Doula Certificate Program to interested people of BC's First Nations communities who provide support to family or community members for their final journey to the Spirit World.
Comfort, dignity and respect are hallmarks of quality end-of-life care, and need to meet emotional, mental, spiritual and physical needs. For people facing the end of their life, continuity of care and advocacy of their health care treatment decisions can be a challenge that an End of Life Doula can help to honour and support.
End of Life Doulas are an emerging role, and complement the work of the nursing and medical communities, plus hospice palliative care workers. End of Life Doulas are advocates who assist in creating and carrying out health care treatment decisions for their clients, while providing support to their clients' family and friends. Indigenous doulas often support community specific traditional practices and protocols when requested by the individual and family.
This program is ideal for anyone wanting to deepen their understanding in how to assist people who are facing their end of life journey.
For anyone interested in finding out more about the End of Life Doula Certificate Program, or to register, please contact Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you, a family member or a loved one are looking for support from an End of Life Doula, please contact your Health Director or your community nurse, and they will be able to provide you with further information.