Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQQIA+ Awareness to Celebration Day

Two Spirit Celebration Day acknowledges the diversity of gender expression and identity alongside diversities of sexual orientation in the Indigenous community. According to the Community Based Research Centre, the event is held at the Spring Equinox “as the date represents transformation and change, which is the in-between that Two-Spirit people have typically occupied.” This year, Two-Spirit Day takes place on Tuesday, March 19.

It marks the distinction between Indigenous ways of expressing membership in the LGBTQ+ community, rather than being folded into Western definitions and ideas of pride that are often still associated with colonialism and colonization. It importantly offers a self-determined meaning of LGBTQ+. To celebrate, read on for five Two-Spirit centric items you can borrow from WPL.

How will you be celebrating and marking Two-Spirit Day?

For more information about Two-Spirit Day check out these resources:

Header photo credit: Community Based Research Centre

Wildhood [DVD]

By the end of this touching movie, I felt like cheering at the screen for the main character Link, a Two-Spirit Mikmaw teen who runs away from an abusive home with his younger brother. The meaning of family and the positive momentum it can give us is a central theme, as is Link comes to understand who he is beyond his abusive upbringing. The absence of Link’s mother and the hope that she is alive propels him forward and into an unlikely connection that begs the question: with so much faith in an unseen family, can you suspend judgement enough to trust in love?

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A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder [eBook]

by Ma-Nee Chacaby


Ma-Nee’s story begins in Ombabika with detours through Auden, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Boston and eventually back in Thunder Bay. The story is as much about place and land as it is about the people who orbit around Ma-Nee. One can only read the violence Ma-Nee endured and feel both heartbreak, and gratitude for her courage. Heartbreak for all she had to endure and gratitude for the corners of her heart that refused to give up. It is not just a coming-of-age story, but a becoming story. Becoming truth. Becoming healed. Becoming sober. Becoming light-hearted. Becoming love. There is wisdom in Ma-Nee’s story for all who read it.

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Surviving the City Volume 1

by Tasha Spillett


Tasha Spillett’s graphic novel (illustrated by Natasha Donovan) is a short but impactful story that pulled me in, and through it I experienced every book lover’s reason for reading: stories so good that they transcend time and space, while transporting you such that you become part of the story with the characters. With complex characters woven into a short plot seamlessly, it is not just the tale that shines but the gift that Spillett and Donovan offer us with their art and writing.

I particularly enjoyed the depictions of the energies and ancestors that walk with us. It captures the essence of Indigenous teachings and visualizes that those who do harm carry an energy that is as dense as their intentions. The book also focused on the way that settler-colonial systems are not rooted in community and cause violence from a seemingly benign “helper” framework. Residential schools, and the 60s scoop may be in the past, but the book demonstrates how Indigenous dispossession and dislocation is ongoing. It speaks about hardship but equally so, the strength that the characters display highlights that healing is possible when done in and with community.

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Phoenix Gets Greater

by Marty Wilson-Trudeau & Phoenix Wilson


Beautifully illustrated and more beautifully told, the story celebrates being gay and Two-Spirited. Books about coming out are undoubtedly powerful for a young reader, who sees another go through the process so they might know what to expect. The main character, Phoenix, comes out, and traces a journey that many coming out have followed: seeing and feeling your difference before you have words for it, coming out with some fear of rejection from family and (for the fortunate) a warm embrace from them. The small number of picture books on being Two-Spirit for Indigenous children makes this an important offering.

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You Are Enough: Love Poems From The End of The World

by Smokii Sumac


I was so grateful to read this collection of poetry. It wasn’t just moving for its glowing humanity, but for the way that it illuminated Two-Spirit and Trans experiences. Sumac writes about the duty of the poet as falling in love and developing crushes. Reading through his work it becomes clear that the unspoken duty of the poet is to fall in love with the everyday and develop crushes on the unexpected contours of what’s lovable about seeming mundane experiences that make up a life. The parts of his poems that stayed with me were the ways that it can feel to fall in love: with life, with another person, with the everyday, to fall in love with dreams, and every loving surprise that meets us in the awareness that we’re falling (even the remaking as it feels like the heart is breaking). My heart applauded how the poems illuminated the wonders of transness, peaks of joy and valleys of grief within a landscape celebrating the sum of a life thus far, lived deeply. It is one of our collection’s must-reads.

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Charlie C.
Programmer & Library Assistant, Main Library

Charlie loves to read across genres. His favourite part of working at the library is connecting people with resources to help better their lives and experiences; knowledge is a path to empowerment. Accordingly, he is interested in reading and borrowing adult non-fiction books related to almost everything. He enjoys reading about business, self-improvement, environmental sciences and spirituality/esotericism. Books that help ask big questions and invoke equally big wonder are among his favourites. Charlie’s other hobbies include writing, hiking, photography and cooking.