Dehga Scott | Tłı̨chǫ Dene from Yellowknife, NT


By the Water

Tribal Nation

Tłı̨chǫ Dene
from Yellowknife, NT


When she was seventeen, Dehga Scott attended four births of teenage mothers. She witnessed her community come together to support these young mothers. The experience taught her the importance of having your grandmother, your mother, and your aunties be a part of the birth process. Dehga knew from that moment on that she wanted to be a midwife. She would follow in the footsteps of her great-grandmother, who was a traditional midwife who served the Tłı̨chǫ Territory.

Dehga is Tłı̨chǫ Dene from Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories. She comes from a long line of strong leaders, including her grandparents, the late Joe Suzie and Julie Mackenzie of Behchoko. Dehga’s life has taken her on many paths to where she is today.

With her interest in midwifery, Dehga went to nursing school. She has three children and one angel. After the loss of her son, she left the nursing program and began to work in healthcare at family clinics. She witnessed the deficiencies of the healthcare system for Native people, particularly for pregnant women. The experience of a young cousin who was evacuated from her village to Yellow Knife for her baby to be born left an indelible mark on her as she beheld the trauma of her cousin being separated from her family support. Dehga believed policy needed to change to afford appropriate health care delivery. She wanted to help make this happen, so she went back to school.

As a capstone project for her nursing program, Dehga decided to create an Indigenous Birthworkers Training for the Northwest Territories. She took her project to her government thinking they would take it on and move it forward. It didn’t turn out that way. Dehga took it on. She helped create an Indigenous Birthworkers Training program that revitalizes traditional birthing practices and supports new parents in their journey and is a co-founder of the Northern Birthwork Collective.