Sunday, August 29, 2010
LOCAL EVENTS MANITOBA:
TWO SPIRIT GATHERING COMING SOON:
The 22nd annual 'Two Spirit Gathering' is coming to the Manitoba town of Beausejeur next weekend. Here's the promo.>>>
22nd Annual International Two Spirit Gathering
The 22nd Annual International Two Spirit Gathering will take place on September 3-6, 2010 at the Dr. Jessie Saulteaux Resource Centre, Beausejour, Manitoba, Canada (64 kilometers or 40 miles) northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Aboriginal/Native American gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender people, their partners, friends & families are invited to gather in the land of the Cree, Dene, Dakota, Inuit, Metis, Ojibway-Cree and Ojibway.
This is an alcohol and drug-free event sponsored by Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. (“Those Who Lead”) and the Two-Spirited People of Manitoba.
To register for the gathering, visit the International Two Spirit Gathering website.
Here's a brief description of what the Two Spirit Gathering is all about from their website.
Ka Ni Kanichihk (KNK) and the Two-Spirited People of Manitoba (TSPM) have partnered to host the twenty-second annual gathering of Two Spirit people in North America, A Gathering of Medicine Stones. The following definition of Two Spirit people is found in Manitoba’s Aboriginal Strategy on HIV/AIDS:
Two Spirit People – a term used to describe Aboriginal 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. Modern terms like gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, [GLBT] transsexual and intersexed (in combination with, or exclusive to, Two Spirit) may be adopted by some Aboriginal people to define who they are.
This special gathering began in 1988 in Minnesota when a local group of Native American gay and lesbian community members saw the need to launch a cultural revitalization movement that was based on the principle of being alcohol and drug-free. The world-wide HIV pandemic had also reached the Two Spirit community at this time galvanizing many local activists to become involved in the HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention movement.
The Minneapolis gathering was organized with the support of allies such as the Minneapolis American Indian Center, Gay and Lesbian Community Action Council, and the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, along with community businesses and private donors. For the past 21 years annual gatherings have continued to be supported by various levels of government, Aboriginal organizations, foundations and private donations. There is also a component of regional and local fundraising and in-kind support for this event.
TSPM hosted the gathering in 1990 and 1998 with approximately 125 participants at each event (a full report on the 1998 gathering is available). TSPM will host the 20th anniversary of their first gathering on Labour Day Weekend, September 3-6, 2010 at a retreat centre outside of Winnipeg. The theme, “A Gathering of Medicine Stones” is reflective of the spiritual and ecological nature of this gathering. Approximately 125 participants representing various Aboriginal and Native American nations and tribes from across Canada and the US are expected to attend. The four-day agenda will include cultural activities, health and wellness sessions, leadership building, anti-homophobia and human rights training, and networking opportunities. A Two Spirit youth life-skills component and panel session will be included. Youth will be one of the priorities for travel scholarships.
Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc., the auspicing body for this project will provide administrative support, financial accounting and will function as the central coordination and planning site. A joint committee of Ka Ni Kanichihk and TSPM representatives will lead the planning and coordination, and oversee fundraising efforts and the successful delivery of the project. A project financial audit will be included in Ka Ni Kanichihk’s annual report. As a registered charity Ka Ni Kanichihk will provide tax receipts for individual and corporate donations.
Albert McLeod, Co-Director
Two-Spirited People of Manitoba Inc.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada