The Two-Spirit Dry Lab proudly acknowledges the 2023 Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQIA+ Celebration and Awareness Day on Monday, March 20, 2023 – in alignment with the spring equinox.
The Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQIA+ Celebration and Awareness Day is an annual day of joy and festivities for all Two-Spirit and queer Indigenous folks and Two-Spirit allies, friends, loved ones and family members.
The idea for the Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQIA+ Celebration and Awareness Day came from members of the Two-Spirit community with support from many allies. This day recognizes and celebrates the radiance and diversity of Two-Spirit identities, expressions and experiences. The lead organizer is the Two-Spirit Program of the Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC).
“This is an amazing day to stop, acknowledge, and celebrate all the beauty in being Two-Spirit, Indigiqueer, and LGBTQIA+ Indigenous peoples. This day is a result of decades of work within the Two-Spirit movement,” said Harlan Pruden (First Nations Cree), one of the co-founders of the Two-Spirit Dry Lab. “We must take the time to celebrate and lift one another up – while we are on a dance floor or watching talented and fierce performers — that’s the power and beauty of this Two-Spirit Day!”
“Two-Spirit, Indigiqueer, and LGBTQIA+ Indigenous peoples have always been a part of the LGBTQIA+ movement, but often invisiblized. It’s thrilling to see that Two-Spirit peoples are being celebrated. This is reconciliation work. As a settler ally, I am immensely grateful to bear witness this gathering. On this land, Two-Spirit people are once again being honoured – as they were prior to colonization,” said Travis Salway, Affiliated Researcher at CBRC and co-founder of the Two-Spirit Dry Lab.
“Two-Spirit Celebration and Awareness Day is a homecoming – an opportunity to recognize the strength and tremendous progress made by the Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQIA+ community over the years,” says Jessy Dame (Metis), Two-Spirit Program Manager at CBRC. “Much of this progress is attributed to years of advocacy from Two-Spirit Elders, mentors, leaders, and community members who have worked tirelessly for this recognition. With this day, we want to uplift and bring greater awareness to Two-Spirit, trans and non-binary Indigenous people and communities.”
EVENT IN VANCOUVER
The Two-Spirit Program will be hosting a “Bannock and Tea” event on Monday, March 20, from 2 pm to 7 pm PT, at Junction (1138 Davie St.). This public event is a gathering in celebration, recognizing the Two-Spirit trailblazers that came before us in this resurgence and to put an emphasis on the Indigenous sexual health work being undertaken by Two-Spirit people across Turtle Island. The day will be a time to reflect on the work that has been and continues to be done within the Two-Spirit movement across Turtle Island. The day amplifies Two-Spirit voices and artists, featuring live entertainment from local Indigenous artists. It will be an opportunity for discussion, expression, and celebration amongst our Two-Spirit relatives that will hopefully be the start of similar gatherings across the country. Everyone is welcome!