See how a baby is welcomed into a First Nations community

CBC's Ann Paul joined St. Mary's First Nation for a placenta burial and spirit name-giving ceremony. Watch a video and scroll through these photos to see what she saw. 

When a baby is on the way in St. Mary's First Nation in New Brunswick, the community gets ready to welcome the child.

But there are some traditions that Elder Imelda Perley wants to bring back. 

Giving a child a spirit name is one of them. On a weekend this fall at St. Mary's First Nation, also known as Sitansisk First Nation, the community held a ceremony to revive this aspect of their culture.

The community and family also held a placenta burial ceremony, which is a way to honour the ancestors.

WATCH | Elder Imelda Perley performs a placenta burial to honour the ancestors:“This baby is going to belong to the whole community”: How St. Mary’s First Nation celebrates a birth and honours a promise to the past.

"It's quite moving to know that we're maintaining our cultural rights by doing these ceremonies and not just making it a hospital visit," Perley said. 

She's also sharing her knowledge with women interested in becoming doulas, who support the mother and help the family prepare for the placenta burial and spirit name-giving ceremony. 

The emphasis on community involvement is so the parents know they're not alone in raising their child.

"It's really important that we nurture our women who are bringing these amazing babies into our community," Perley said.

CBC contributor Ann Paul joined the community for the placenta burial and spirit name-giving ceremony. Watch the video below and scroll through the photos to see what she saw. 

Elder Imelda Perley performs a placenta burial to honour the ancestors: 

Photographer Ann Paul brings an Indigenous lens to stories from First Nations communities across New Brunswick. Click here or the image below to see more of her work. 

Ann Paul is a Wolastoqey woman. Her name is Monoqan, meaning rainbow. She is a grandmother, a mother, a daughter, an auntie, a dancer, a singer and a teacher. Using her camera, she brings an Indigenous lens to stories from First Nations communities across New Brunswick.