About Us

Two-Spirit Dry Lab (2SDL) is Turtle Island’s first research group that focuses exclusively on Two-Spirit people, communities, and experiences.

The 2SDL is a collaborative of Indigenous and settler researchers and community leaders engaged in research at the intersections of Indigeneity, gender, sexual orientation, and geography. We work to promote wise practices in sex and gender research and to grow new knowledge(s) that can be applied to improve the lives, health and/or wellbeing of Two-Spirit and other Indigenous people. The 2SDL has a capacity-building function—to develop promising practices for Indigenous and Two-Spirit research—as well as a discovery function—to identify factors that promote the health of Two-Spirit people, through our analyses and continuous learning and engagement with and for the Two-Spirit community.

We call ourselves a “Dry Lab” as a research group that does its work on computers and not with beakers or Bunsen burners.

The 2SDL was formed in response to a commitment on the part of the Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) to address the 2015 Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The 2SDL is generously supported by the CBRC, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), and the Simon Fraser University Faculty of Health Sciences.

Our vision is a robust, gender-inclusive, active, and thriving network of Two-Spirit health researchers, leaders, and knowledge users, supported by an integrated network of settler-allies.

Our research goal is to understand how Two-Spirit facilitates access to health information and wellbeing for Indigenous sexual and gender minority people.

Members of the Two-Spirit Dry Lab live across Turtle Island, and the work of the Lab may at times be geographic/place-specific while at other times Canada-wide in scope. The Lab is committed to honoring and acknowledging the Peoples and lands, both Treaty and Non-Treaty territories, where we work.

We wish to further acknowledge the many generations of Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, going back thousands of years, who have walked and continue to walk this land. Despite the attempted erasure of Indigenous laws, customs, and Peoples, by colonial invaders, Indigenous people persist and thrive. Our work is intended to hold up Indigenous Peoples, including their traditional and cultural beliefs and practices, while decolonizing the systems imposed on Indigenous Peoples.

Finally, we acknowledge that the Two-Spirit Dry Lab is constituted by Indigenous and settler-ally members, who work alongside one another, while holding distinct roles in the process of reconciliation. We work to borrow strengths of all members, using a Two(Spirit)-Eyed Seeing approach to research, seeking balance in methods, ways of knowing, research partnerships, and research actions.

The 2SDL logo symbolizes our work to-date and future vision.

In the words of our logo’s artist, Margaret August,

“This design depicts a moon design concept and the moon is symbolic to the many cycles in moving forward with conducting of Indigenous-based research. The face is representing a balance of feminine and masculine energy with the split down the middle. The forehead has salmon faces, as to represent our west coast environment.”

For us, the logo further showcases the opportunities of a Two(Spirit)-Eyed Seeing approach to research, seeking balance in methods, ways of knowing, research partnerships, and research actions.