BEING TWO SPIRIT
We are part of a Tradition
In pre-contact times, Two Spirit were called the Gifted Ones… They were gifted because they carried two spirits, that of male and female, and were respected as fundamental members of our societies and kinships.
In some communities, the traditional language names are still remembered, in others, the dialogue is ongoing, and in still others, completely replaced by Christian concepts about sexuality.
The erasure of the existence of two spirit non-binary genders and same sex love from our cultural memory does not mean it is not there.
In the original languages, these words for the Gifted Ones did not have a sexual connotation and everyone was seen as having a gift that they could share with the world. Prior to colonization, Indigenous
Peoples accepted cross gender roles; the focus was on the gifts, their spirit gifts, not their sexual orientation or gender.
Two Spirit people often performed both gender roles at ceremonies as healers, caregivers, helpers, teachers, dream interpreters, singers, dancers. Part of their work was to balance the masculine and feminine principles in the Universe… to restore harmony when those energies became unbalanced. Sometimes they were marriage counselors, sometimes mediators, sometimes adoptive parents if families were having a hard time, or helpers to the sick and elderly.
We are still here!
For the past 28 years, Two Spirit Societies have been gathering across Turtle Island to strengthen the identity integrity and wellness of Two Spirit People.
At the 2nd International Two Spirit Gathering in Manitoba in 1990, the name Two Spirit was adopted.
It is a self-descriptor increasingly used by Indigenous gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Canadians who live within a traditional Aboriginal worldview. It asserts that all aspects of identity (including sexuality, race, gender and spirituality) are interconnected and that one’s experience of
Supporting, Educating, Connecting
Sexuality is inseparable from experiences of culture and community.
Being Two Spirit
Two Spirit is a name used by Indigenous People who assume cross or multiple gender roles, attributes, dress and attitudes for personal, spiritual, cultural, ceremonial or social reasons. These roles are defined by each cultural group and can be fluid over a person’s lifetime.
Being Two Spirit is a gift from Creator.