Miriam Labbok Award for Excellence 2019
Each year we remember Miriam by offering the Miriam H. Labbok Award for Excellence to a person in their early or mid-career whose work reflects Miriam’s legacy. Our goal with the award is to honor emerging scholars and practitioners who are continuing her work and her legacy.
Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference is proud to announce that the 2019 Miriam Labbok Award for Excellence is offered this year jointly to Camie Jae Goldhammer and Kimberly Moore-Salas for their amazing and innovative work creating and conducting the Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor (IBC) program. The IBC course, whose creation was funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation was created as an integral component of CHEER’s (Center for Health Education, Equity and Research) American Indian/Alaska Native Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices (AI/AN CHAMPS) program
Traveling throughout North America, Camie and Kimberly have offered the IBC certification course to empower their Indigenous sisters and brothers to immediately return to their own communities with skills and knowledge to share. The materials and resources used in teaching and training reflect Indigenous culture and experience. In their first year (September 2017-September 2018), they certified 79 Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselors from over 12 tribes and First Nations, 7 (US) states, 3 countries and 2 continents, including one man! In 2019 they are scheduled to do trainings in Standing Rock, Michigan, Oneida and Hawaii with a few more yet to be confirmed. We thank Elizabeth Brooks for sponsoring their joint application.
Camie Goldhammer and Kimberly Moore-Salas demonstrate leadership every day – in their paid work, in their unpaid advocacy and leadership projects, in their watchful (and vocal) presence on the national stage to hold up those historically injured by structural racism and oppression. They are the very manifestation of Miriam Labbok’s brand of joyful, heart-felt pleasure in seeing families meet their infant feeding goals, in culturally respectful environments.
Camie Jae Goldhammer (Sisseton-Wahpeton) is a Clinical Social Worker and Lactation Consultant (2013) living in Seattle, Washington. She received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Washington in 2006, a first generation college student, who specialized in Maternal Mood Disorders and the effects of complex/Intergenerational trauma on attachment, bonding and the parenting practices of Indigenous families. She is a founding mother and President Elect of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color, a national organization devoted to the centering the voices of lactation supporters of color as well as diversification of the field of lactation. As a Campaign Director with MomsRising, she worked on their campaign to bring paid family and medical leave to Washington State; which was signed into law in July 2017. Most recently (January 2019) Camie began working as the Program Manager for Daybreak Star Doulas a program of United Indians of All Tribes. She is a national leader on racial equity and first food justice. Further describing her work Camie stated: “This is more than a passion. This is the fulfillment of a prophecy that the 7th generation, our generation, will be the one to heal our people.”
Kimberly D. Moore-Salas (Dine’/Navajo) is a lactation consultant currently living in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2009, after the births of her children, she returned to work and became a Peer Counselor for Native Health (Phoenix). This experience was instrumental because many of the clients served came from various tribal communities. In 2012, she became an IBCLC. Kimberly currently works for a level I hospital with approximately 2300 deliveries per year. It is a fast-paced environment, clinically intensive, where she cares for an underserved diverse population.
Kimberly also works with Changing Woman Initiative located in New Mexico creating a lactation program for a non-profit organization to renew cultural birth knowledge to indigenous sovereignty of traditional teachings to promote reproductive wellness, using a holistic approach to strengthen women’s health and community. This initiative holds a space that acknowledges cultural knowledge of identity and motherhood.
The end of 2017, she began working with Camie Goldhammer. Kim explained, “I believe this work has captured empowerment, resiliency and healing among our indigenous women. Allowing others to start the healing process for themselves and their community. By doing this we can slow the manifestation of intergenerational trauma from carrying over to our children. Reclaiming our own power”
Both Camie and Kimberly continue to work with breast/chestfeeding families in their local communities, providing excellent evidence-based care and support. However, they haven’t stop there, moving their advocacy efforts from the local to the national arena and beyond. Camie and Kimberly were both recently elected to the Board of Directors for the U. S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), the first two Indigenous womxn to reach this pinnacle of leadership in the lactation field. In the years before their election, each had been a vibrant part of their local/state/tribal breastfeeding coalitions.