Laurie Jacobs | Tuscarora Nation – Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario, Canada


She’s Shaking the Snow Off

Tribal Nation

Tuscarora Nation
Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario, Canada


Laurie Jacobs has spent much of her life helping bring new life into this world, incorporating her traditional knowledge and gentle ways as a Midwife. Laurie belongs to the Tuscarora Nation Bear Clan and lives on the Six Nations of the Grand River territory in Ontario, Canada.

The youngest of eight children, Laurie learned from her mother Betty’s stories and teachings, along with her kind and gentle ways. Her gram, Gertrude, was a residential school survivor. Her grandfather, Jefferson, was a chief and fluent Tuscarora language speaker. Passing on traditional knowledge was discouraged at that time, and Laurie’s family, like many others, experienced conflict. Following her mother’s example of compassion and forgiveness, Laurie broke the cycle of trauma and chose to learn her language the best she could with the limited resources available.

Laurie and her husband, Lee, raised their children in a traditional longhouse way. After her first homebirth under the care of two very knowledgeable Indigenous midwives, she determined to become one herself. She wanted her daughters to have the option to give birth on their own terms, on their own territory, with the same kind of care that she received, which honored their language, traditional medicines, and customs.

While pregnant with her seventh child in 1996, Laurie was hired as an apprentice at Ontario’s very first birth center, Tsi Nón:we Ionnakerátstha Ona:grahsta’—”the place they will be born” Six Nations Maternal and Child Centre. Since then, she has practiced primarily in Six Nations and Southwestern Ontario, training other Indigenous midwives along the way. She incorporates traditional medicines, language, and culture into her midwifery practice, childbirth education classes, and other life cycle care.

Laurie is a recipient of the heartfelt Iewirokwas Cape award, chosen by her peers for her extraordinary contributions to midwifery and to her own community. She leads with equity, humility, justice, and inclusion.