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November 01, 2018 Winter 2018

LGBTQ Issues in Native America

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Greetings! This section of the newsletter is new for SOGI; designed to broaden our discussion to include Native (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian) individuals that identify as Two-Spirit as well as the broader Native LGBTQ2 community.

Check out the following resources and news items to learn more about what’s happening in LGBTQ2 community across Native America.

8 Things You Should Know About Two-Spirit People (Tony Enos)

Haven’t heard the term ‘Two-Spirit’? This short article discusses the origins of the term and the historical context that led to its creation. Some Native nations have a broader and more nuanced take on sexual orientation and gender identity. Like many identity labels, the term Two-Spirit is contested within Native communities. With 567 federally recognized Native nations and hundreds of unrecognized tribes, it’s impossible for one term to work for everyone, but the term Two-Spirit has gained the most traction across Native communities; with each Native nation also maintaining its own terms for sexual orientation and gender identities that best fit its language and culture.  
Visit Indian Country Today for an article on two-spirit people.

Tribal Equity Toolkit 3.0: Tribal Resolutions and Codes to Support Two Spirit and LGBTQ Justice in Indian Country (Edited by Se-ah-dom Edmo and Aaron Ridings)

This toolkit provides sample legal language for adapting tribal resolutions and codes to recognize the rights of all tribal citizens. A third edition of the toolkit was published with the support of a growing coalition of national organizations convened by Western States Center, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Congress of American Indians, and the Center for American Progress.     
Link to Tribal Equity Toolkit 3.0

BAAITS Two-Spirit Powwow in San Francisco

If you’re not in Vancouver for the ABA Midyear meeting, consider stopping by the annual Two-Spirit Powwow organized by the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits; an organization that exists to restore and recover the role of Two-Spirit people within the American Indian/First Nations community by creating a forum for the spiritual, cultural and artistic expression of Two-Spirit people. Be sure to download the BAAITS recommended “powwow etiquette” resource before attending your next powwow.

For information about Two-Spirit Powwows and future events, please go to:

SOGI Commissioner