Ellen French

Certified Nurse Midwife Intern

Seattle University


I am a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) student in the Certified Nurse Midwifery (CNM) track at Seattle University. Though I’m originally from Seattle, I received a B.A. from Hampshire College in Native American identity politics and a Five-College Certificate of Native American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2011. At Seattle University, I’m a member of Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health and I’m the student chair of the Washington State ACNM’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.


My DNP research works on building the strength and resilience of community doula programs. I want to support birth workers through difficult experiences and to keep birth worker histories, traditions, and culture through narrative and shared space.


I had a wide range of experiences before returning to school, from dairy farming to serving tables; from teaching rock climbing to multicultural feminist publishing. My entry to midwifery came from a desire to serve my community in a vocational way. I wanted to work with my mind, my heart, and my hands. I trained as a doula at Bastyr and volunteered with Open Arms. As I learned the rhythms of birth work, I knew I was on the right path.


I see midwifery as a way to care for and heal communities at the margins of society, and I hope to advocate especially for queer and Native/indigenous communities. My philosophy of midwifery is to see the whole of each birthing parent, taking into account their context and community, and to work with them in a way that promotes agency and respect. In other words, to practice love.