Truth and Reconciliation Commission to collect statements from Two Spirits at historic GLBT gathering

From Native Youth Sexual Health Network & NativeOUT:

PRESS RELEASE

Truth and Reconciliation Commission to collect statements from Two Spirits at historic GLBT gathering

Winnipeg, MB – Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. and the Two-Spirited People of Manitoba (TSPM) have partnered to host the 22nd Annual International Two Spirit Gathering (Sep 3-6) at a retreat centre near Winnipeg. Approximately 100 Aboriginal/Native American gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from across Canada and the US will gather in early September to participate in an alcohol and chemical free event which is focused on healing, ceremony, cultural revitalization and social strengthening.

In North America, Two Spirit people continue to be marginalized because of homophobia, transphobia, poverty and racism. A recent Two Spirit study by the University of Manitoba reported forced mobility from rural communities; and a need for community activities and events that are not alcohol or bar-based, that include cultural components and are respectful of sex and gender diversity. The Assembly of First Nations in its recommendation below advocates for increased understanding and protection for GLBT community members.

Recognize the role of Two Spirit (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) First Nations’ peoples. The solution [to discrimination] is to educate people on the traditionally respected role that Two-Spirit First Nations’ peoples played in most communities, and to thus remove the stigma that has been associated with this group.

– AFN HIV/AIDS Action Plan (2001)

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission will also be on hand to collect statements about the impact of the Indian Residential Schools. Little is known about the experiences of GLBT people in the IRS system. The four-day agenda will include cultural activities, health and wellness sessions, leadership building, anti-homophobia and human rights training, and networking opportunities. A youth stream will be facilitated by the Native Youth Sexual Health Network. A press conference will be held 11:00 am on Wed., August 25, 2010 at Ka Ni Kanichihk, 455 McDermot, Winnipeg.

LIVE BLOG DURING THE EVENT!

Native Youth Sexual Health Network will be hosting a live blog again during the 22nd International Two Spirit Gathering taking place in Beausejour, Manitoba on one of our partner’s site the LGBT Youthline.

Our youth delegation will be sharing their thoughts, hopes, dreams, experiences, frustrations, and more here:
http://www.youthline.ca/blog/?p=539

Be sure to check back all weekend and especially next week when everything goes up on our blog!

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Media Contacts:
Albert McLeod, Co-Director, TSPM
H: 204-783-6424 C: 204-330-8671
E-mail: twospiritedmanitoba@hotmail.com
Website: http://nativeout.com/itsg/

The Native Youth Sexual Health Network
Website: www.nativeyouthsexualhealth.com

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The Boarding School Healing Project Needs Your Help!

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Boarding School Healing Project

The Boarding School Healing Project is requesting a hearing on boarding school abuses committed against Native peoples in the United States through the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The BSHP needs as many organizations as possible to sign on to the request. Please let them  know if your organization would be willing to do so. They need organizations rather than individuals, unless the individuals can be identified as key leaders in prominent organizations. If you are willing to sign on, you can email the BSHP at boardingschoolhp@gmail.com.

For more info on this action, please see: http://www.boardingschoolhealingproject.org/takeaction.html

Here is an excerpt of the request for a hearing:

The organizations and individuals listed below write pursuant to Article 64 of the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to request the Commission to schedule a general interest hearing…on the subject of the continuing effects of abuses of Native American children compelled by U.S. law to attend residential schools run or controlled by the state party, where they were subjected to physical, sexual, emotional, cultural and spiritual abuse.

The purpose of the hearing is to inform the Commission concerning the widespread and devastating continuing impacts of these human rights violations which directly resulted from the U.S. government’s de jure requirement that all Indigenous children attend such boarding schools, and its failure to exercise due diligence to prevent and protect Native children from abuses by state and religious officials acting as agents of the state.

Thank you so much for your help.

Trigger warning for the videos below…

Here is a video of BSHP member, Andrea Smith, discussing the history of boarding schools:

And here is a video of Lakota woman and boarding school survivor, Joanne Tall, describing her experience in a boarding school:

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