Who We Are

About Us - Canadian Community for Death Midwifery

We are a growing Community of Practice made up of people who support and practice community-centred deathcare in various ways, across Canada. Some of us call ourselves deathcare practitioners (professional and lay), death doulas, thanadoulas, spiritual/soul caregivers, end of life coaches, psychopomps, home funeral guides, family members and other titles too. Practitioners are self-titled and should observe legislation that regulates the use of certain titles when we name ourselves publicly. Many of us serve on a volunteer basis in our own families and communities, while others charge fees for service. Some combine our community-centred deathcare practice with other offerings such as hospice work, massage therapy or photography, while others have a singular dedicated practice.

We share a passion to see dying and deathcare lovingly reclaimed in Canada and abroad, by co-creating an inclusive community wherein grassroots and professional practices are validated. To that end, seven of us from across Canada have met online weekly since 2013, to found a national organization where those who practice community-centred deathcare can gather to learn from and support one another, and where the public can find out about the potential benefits of re-engaging with dying and deathcare and find practitioners to serve their unique needs.

Community Deathcare Canada is stewarded by a core group of volunteers who are passionate about the organization’s mission vision and values. Until now we have utilized rotational facilitation and operated within a model of shared leadership. Currently, we are moving into more structured roles as a board of directors, as we transition into a registered Not-For-Profit organization.

The current Board of Directors is made up of
Chair: Cassandra Yonder
Vice Chair: Krista Manuel
Secretary: Rochelle Martin
Treasurer: Constance Russo
Keeper of the Heart: Don Morris

Alumni: Sue Muirhead, Judith McGill, Jemma Fong

Each Board Member leads a committee that is responsible for a variety of roles within the organization. Please refer to the committees for further information on their roles and members. We invite you to explore the CDC website to learn more about what we do.

Legislative Committee
Structure Committee
Media Committee
Fundraising Committee

If you are interested in assisting with foundational work for the organization, please contact us. We invite you to join a committee that inspires you by connecting to us through the contact us page. in the listings and create a profile.

Learn more about the core group of coordinators past and present (names below), by reading our personal bios in the profile listings section.

COMMITTEE NAME: Legislative Committee

CHAIRPERSON: Rochelle Martin

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of the legislative committee is to fulfill the vision and mission of Community Deathcare Canada by monitoring and responding to legal matters related to dying and deathcare in Canada.


  • Develop and maintain a chart showing comparative legal requirements for after-death care in each province (referencing relevant provincial acts and legislation)
  • Develop and maintain a “required documentation flow sheet” for each province
  • Research and challenge recent, restrictive changes to Quebec funeral legislation (QC legislative subcommittee headed by Joe Hiscott)
  • Develop Canadian version of NHFA’s “What to Do When Rights are Challenged” info. sheet
  • Develop and maintain CDC statement opposing licensure and certification for community deathcare practitioners, and encouraging respect for protected titles and licensed services (eg. Midwife, Funeral Director, with links to relevant provincial acts)
  • Develop information sheet re. practice insurance recommendations, and possible disclaimers/waivers/agreements for use by practitioners

Provide links to further information about status of MAID legislation

Provide information or refer any legislation-related questions, as they arise from community members and the media

MEETING TIMES: flexible, as needed

ONLINE FORUM: private facebook group Legislative Committee: Canadian Community Deathcare

CURRENT MEMBERS: Jules Jones (NB), Shauna Curley (NS), Bonnie Kumer (QC), Joe Hiscott (QC), Barb Phillips (ON), Kory McGrath (ON), Ellen Newman (ON), Cheeba Jones (ON), Rochelle Martin (ON), Eunice Friesen (AB), Tara Langdon (AB), Hilary Watson (BC)
If you are interested in joining the Legislative Committee, please email Rochelle Martin: <chelle.martin@utoronto.ca>

Check out the Resources section for the PROVINCIAL HOME FUNERAL DOCUMENTATION PATHWAYS documents by province.

COMMITTEE NAME: Structure Committee

CHAIRPERSON: Krista Manuel

MISSION STATEMENT: imagine, implement, clarify, maintain organizational structure to suit mission of CDC


  • Manage membership
  • Status
  • Interface with media, legislative and fundraising regarding the website and not-for-profit status
  • Organize and run AGM
  • Liason with government regarding National Organization


  • Membership



  • Facebook group

CURRENT MEMBERS: Krista Manuel, Constance Russo


COMMITTEE NAME: Media Committee

CHAIRPERSON: Cassandra Yonder

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of the media committee is to fulfill the vision and mission of Community Deathcare Canada by representing the national community of practice in the public sphere in ways that are in line with the values of the organization.


  • Manage website
  • Public relations
  • Respond to public inquiries
  • Social media
  • Launch org


  • Website IT (Jemma Fong)
  • Website content
  • Website blog (Sue Muirhead)
  • Launch (John Eastcott)
  • Social media (Denise Seguin Horth)
  • Facebook page (Dianne Davies)
  • Logo


ONLINE FORUM: private facebook group Media Committee: Canadian Community Deathcare

CURRENT MEMBERS: Cassandra Yonder, Jemma Fong, Sue Muirhead, Dianne Davies, John Eastcott, Loraine Johnston

SEEKING MEMBERS: others with social media and public relations skills

COMMITTEE NAME: Fundraising and Events Committee


MISSION STATEMENT: Work diligently to support the financial underpinnings of the CDC. Imagine, plan and implement community activities e.g.: conventions which support the success of the CDC.


  • Find charitable groups
  • Send out application letters and communicate back
  • Interface with CDC Treasurer, Directors and other CDC committees
  • Imagine, design and implement needed events


  • Crowd Sourcing



  • FaceBook Page

CURRENT MEMBERS: Don Morris,Jackie Avent, Constance Russo