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The term "two-spirited" comes to us with a rich background of history and importance

In contemporary times, with the advent of lesbian and gay liberation, "two-spirited" means Aboriginal people who identify themselves as gay or lesbian

The terms "gay" and "lesbian" are European in origin, so the term "two-spirited" is preferred because it is more culturally relevant to Aboriginal lesbians and gay men

When Europeans came to Turtle Island they brought with them their religions, their values and their way of looking at the world. This adversely affected Aboriginal communities in many ways, including our sexual expression

Over time, we have come to believe that two-spirited First nations people are disgusting and perverse. We learn that before colonization that to be two-spirited was a gift, which had promise and potential. Two-spirited people were respected and honored; they were visionaries and healers in our communities. We have rediscovered that we continue to have a spiritual place in our world

Aboriginal culture is recognized for its emphasis on balance and harmony in all of creation. No one element, force or impulse dominates the others. The term two-spirited originates from the First nation's recognition of the traditions and sacredness of people who maintain a balance by housing both the male and female spirit

Some of our elders teach us that two-spirited people have a special place in our communities. We believe that two-spirited people have specific duties and responsibilities to perform. These include counseling, healing, being pipe carriers, visionaries (seers), and conducting oneself in accordance with our belief that respects all life

Based on historical evidence that comes from recorded material, out of ninety-nine tribes, there were references to Gay culture in eighty-eight of them, of which twenty made specific references to lesbianism. Among the Crow, for instance, two-spirited men were responsible for cutting down the tree which is used for the Sun Dance Ceremony

Coming together in the urban setting has allowed us to look at our sexuality from political perspectives, which allows us the re-empowerment of two-spirited people

Organizations such as 2-Spirited People of the 1st nations have been founded and give vitality to the vital role which two-spirited people have within Aboriginal communities. Through the decolonization process, we as two-spirited people are striving to reclaim our traditional positions within our nations and are taking our rightful place

Taken from: "Another Mother Tongue" edited by: Judy Grahn, Beacon Press,
Boston 1984
Fights Buffalo With Hands could feel his two spirited nature come to light when he saw Runs Fast Like Rabbit in the sweat lodge that night.
by craig dauphinee December 11, 2006
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