It is with greatest humility and honor that the Two-Spirit Dry Lab (2SDL) shares the exciting news that Elder Glida Morgan has joined the 2SDL as the elder and mentor.
Elder Gilda Morgan, from Tla’amin First Nation, will provide spiritual and cultural teachings to guide the work and provide support to members of the Lab. With Elder Morgan’s support, the 2SDL will continue to work to promote best and wise practices in sex and gender research and grow new knowledge(s) that can be used to improve the lives, health, and wellbeing of Two-Spirit and other Indigenous people.
Elder Glida Morgan is determined to bring healing light to Indigenous peoples in her role as a front-line worker on Vancouver’s Downtown East-side in the areas of family violence, mental wellness & women’s health. Elder Glida has explored ways in which culture can be integrated into the health care plans and setting for Indigenous peoples. This includes performing at community events across the lower mainland, providing medicine in the form of songs for patients in palliative care. Glida’s singing and drumming of traditional songs inspires and grounds the work of the 2SDL.
Elder Glida has offered her beautiful voice, teaching the 2SDL through song. While gathered at the spring Elder Glida offered the following wisdom to guide our work: “Learning who we are is so important. We must grow and honour our whole selves, including our imperfections. Let’s find ways to lift one another up in all the spaces where we find ourselves–from healthcare to academia to community–and let’s find how to make research inclusive of Two-Spirit people in the best way possible.”
The 2SDL is also honoured to receive ongoing support and guidance from Elder Roberta Price, member of the Coast Salish Snuneymuxw and Cowichan Nations.
For close to four decades, Elder Roberta Price has actively shared her leadership, wisdom, and teachings throughout the Lower Mainland to assist both Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members to achieve improved outcomes in healthcare. Elder Price has been instrumental in helping to create shared spaces for both Indigenous and Western approaches to healing and health. Elder Roberta is a co-principal investigator for Critical Research in Health and Health Care Inequities and the Transformative Justice and Health Research Cluster at the University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing. She is part of a team of UBC researchers who are distributing hundreds of art and journaling kits to Indigenous men in prisons and in halfway houses in a bid to alleviate the dual mental health tolls of incarceration and the pandemic. Dr. Elder Roberta Price has received an honorary degree from UBC in 2021 in recognition for her substantial contribution to society.
At the Lab’s planning retreat in May 2022, Elder Roberta shared and reminded the team that, “Our collective and individual responsibilities are to take care of ourselves and everyone as we come together to gather and share new information about our Two-Spirit relatives. This way of being and doing is a return to our old ways, when our communities took care of each other; each family, each person that needed to be brought back into balance. This deep healing and wellness work where we are taking care of ourselves and everyone is what is needed at this time.“
“We raise our hands to Elder Glida Morgan and Elder Roberta Price for honoring us with their teachings, wisdom, and medicine,” said Travis Salway, one of the founding members of the 2SDL. “We are so fortunate to have Elder Glida’s and Elder Roberta’s wisdom, guidance, and care as they remind us and show us the importance of love, humility, and appreciation for one another and in our work with and for Two-Spirit and Indigenous Peoples!”
“The 2SDL and the Two-Spirit community are so honored and blessed to have the wisdom and the knowledge of Elder Glida Morgan and Elder Roberta Price,” said Harlan Pruden, another founding member of the 2SDL, “to inform and assist us as we strive to advance and decolonize research that works at the intersections of Indigeneity, gender, sexual orientation, and geography while providing technical and capacity-building assistance to Two-Spirit, Queer and Indigenous organizations across Turtle Island.”