Adora-Lee Nawagesic is an Indigneous Doula, breastfeeding counsellor, and so much more! She is a member of Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek.
“I’m an active community member, I grew up in a way where it was said to be of service to your community is how you can be happy. So I’m learning about what that means and how to give back to my community.”
Adora is the host for a Saturday night beading meet via zoom called Mnidoonskedaa, “there’s probably about six of us who regularly attend, then we’ll have some new people join the group, and ask questions. It’s really a space to learn, to talk, to be indigenous, and just to be who we are.”
She also has run classes on moccasin and mitten making.
Adora also puts out daily messages on her social media to remind the people to drink water and stay hydrated
“So I have this message: drink water. In order to have a good life you have to drink water, you need to nourish and hydrate your body. There’s people who don’t even realize that they’re not drinking water, they’re walking around dehydrated. I’ve started posting reminders on my social media and I say, hey, have you had any water today? and do a check in.”
She aspires to to pursue a career offering spaces to speak about Indigenous motherhood and birthwork, after her own experience with giving birth to her daughter.
“I went to the hospital as a young mother and I had no idea about coping skills, I had no idea about what or how to ask about medications they were giving me. I didn’t know anything about how to navigate the healthcare system and what words to use to have my voice heard. And being a part of a marginalized group, we already go into a setting like the hospital and feel like we’re silenced.”
“So if you’re a single, indigenous or BIPOC person going into that space you’d certainly benefit from having a doula by your side. When you are alone you’re unable to think how to advocate for yourself when you’re so vulnerable. Having a doula or a birth worker there, allows your voice to be heard, during that vulnerable period. It also benefits nurses to have that extra support, because they have the doula to offer emotional and physical support, while also advocating for the moms through that experience.”
She also has her Social Service Work diploma with an Indigenous specialization from Sault College.
When talking about International Women’s Day, Adora shares, “I don’t see that representation of regular native women who are out there serving the community.”
“When I think of women, I think of my Auntie’s. I think of blueberry picking alongside them and my mom. I think of spending all day out in the bush and listening to them laugh and scream about bears. I think about the childlike play that happens between us. I think about when I got in trouble as a youth, and I had three mom’s yelling at me, correcting and guiding me.
“I think about the struggle that they went through, about their faces. They are the voices that taught me everything that I am today, the women who breathe life into me. Those women I have never seen on an international Women’s Day, but they are the epitome of divine femininity. They are hard, they’re soft, they’re gentle, they’re funny, they’re pain, they’re resilient. So, I think of them and a lack of representation of the different regular women that you wouldn’t normally see on an international women’s day.”
If you have talked to Adora before, even over zoom, you can feel her positive spirit in her messages. Remember to stay hydrated folks!
It is so important to celebrate the women in our community who are working to have the Indigenous voice heard.
Thank you for sharing your stories Adora! You are such a light and inspiration in this community.