The restoration and recognition of midwifery as an important component of modern health care, which the WHO now considers essential to achieving improved maternal health and reduced infant mortality worldwide, has been the work of courageous pioneers in many nations. In Canada, Elaine Carty, MSN CNM has been instrumental in establishing the evidentiary basis for expanded childbirth services, bringing midwifery into the mainstream, and ensuring that childbearing families have access to safe and effective care. Working as a university-based nurse midwife, Ms. Carty helped erode structural and attitudinal barriers to legitimizing the profession, contributing to the legalization of midwifery in British Columbia in 1998, and serving as founding director of midwifery education at the University of British Columbia. She is known in the province as the “midwife of midwifery” and is widely recognized as a primary leader in creating the scientific foundation for the legislative and regulatory frameworks allowing professional practice of midwifery in Canada today. Establishing free clinics, researching optimal timing of postpartum hospital discharge, organizing collaborative study of safety issues for natural birth and home delivery, including for women with disabilities, and integrating arts and humanities into midwifery curricula, Elaine Carty has helped secure nationwide acceptance of professional midwifery.