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Celebrating Pride! Our Children Our Way: Proudly recognizing our sacred two-spirited and Indigiqueer people

News Release – Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) Territory

In celebration of Pride Month, the Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors Our Children Our Way Society Secretariat proudly recognizes our sacred two-spirited and Indigiqueer people and their ability to walk in both their male and female energies.

“The intersection of Pride Month, Indigenous History Month and Indigenous People’s Day in June invites us to celebrate the important roles and identities 2SLGBTQIA+ people have held in Indigenous communities across Turtle Island since time immemorial,” says Mary Teegee, Chairperson.

This month, we celebrate the strength and courage of two-spirited youth who are reclaiming their identities and asserting their rightful place within their communities. We stand with these courageous youth as they stand against colonial oppression to reshape narratives, foster love and acceptance, and promote understanding.

As service providers, the Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors understand that honouring the roles and identities of Indigenous 2SLGBTQIA+ people is critical to their safety and wellbeing. The imposition of colonial worldviews has brought significant and ongoing harm to 2SLGBTQIA+ youth. These young people deserve love, acceptance and the ongoing efforts to provide culturally based supports and services that are guided by Indigenous teachings and the specific needs of our children and youth.

Each of us carry the responsibility to build safe spaces and opportunities for connection and belonging for our beautiful and resilient 2SLGBTQIA+ youth and young people to allow them to thrive and lead.

We hold our hands up to the communities celebrating and creating space for Indigiqueer people to be their whole selves. For example, the Four Feathers 2Spirit Society and the Kelowna Pride Society on the territory of the Syilx-Okanagan Nation hosted their 1st Annual 2 Spirit Pow-Wow Kelowna Pride on June 06, 2024. Supported by the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) Child and Family Team, the Syilx Indigiqueer Council were the advisory body for this pow-wow.

“They are a strong group who provide advisory support throughout the Nation and are comprised of members from all seven communities and Colville Confederated Tribes. They are an autonomous group, but the Tribal Council recognizes them, and the ONA supports their work whenever possible,” Charlotte Singh, Child & Family Administrator, Okanagan Nation Alliance and Syilx Child and Family.

Additional resources:

Image: Kelowna Pride, Two-Spirit Pow Wow Facebook Page

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For further comment, please contact: Jennifer Chuckry, Executive Director, Our Children Our Way Secretariat, [email protected]