Our Two-Spirit project engages in decolonizing gender roles and identities within our communities. We will do this work through community forums, gatherings, workshops, healing stories, and talking circles.
Two-Spirit’s have largely been ignored in colonial LGBTQ+ “movements,” in the US and Canada. We are still here and we have been resisting since colonization. Social justice is exclusive when it doesn’t include Two-Spirit people. At the Native Justice Coalition we emphasize and strive to center Two-Spirit’s in this project.
Gender binaries, homophobia, colonial social constructions around gender identity, gender expression as well as sexual orientation didn't exist in our communities prior to colonization. Two-Spirit's traditionally brought balance and healing into our communities. Two-Spirit is an umbrella pan-Native American term its describes gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. Some Two-Spirit's may align with colonial LGBTQ+ identities while others may eschew those identities. However, keep in mind that Two-Spirit is not for non-Native people. You can't appropriate our culture because our identities as Two-Spirits on Turtle Island have always been. For each Two-Spirit based in their specific tribal tradition there may be a unique name in the language that honors who they are. We are still decolonizing and still learning so not everyone will know the words to describe how they identify.
As we do this work we discover the ways our communities have been deeply impacted by harmful gender binaries through Christianity and colonial patriarchy. Our work seeks to create safety and greater awareness for who we are as Two-Spirit's. We honor everyone’s stories as we work on healing and decolonization in Anishinaabe Aki and beyond.
If you would like to learn a more about our work or to host a project in your community, please contact our Two-Spirit Project Coordinator, Leora Lancaster, firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently planning for 2020 talking circles, healing stories, and other events in Anishinaabe and Great Lakes Native communities.