Wabanaki Two-Spirit Alliance
The W2SA is a group of volunteers, researchers, academics, knowledge holders, youth and Elder Wabanaki Two-Spirits and Allies.
Members of the Alliance self-identify in various ways, which include: Two-Spirits, Two-Spirited, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Indigiqueer, and the “+” may represent non-conforming, non-binary expressions. People may use English terms or terms which may be from their Indigenous languages.
Mission: To represent the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical well-being and interests of Two Spirits and Indigenous LGBTQ+ individuals and groups in Wabanaki Territory (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland/Labrador, Gaspé region of Quebec, and Maine (northern areas in Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Tribal territories) based on our beliefs and values in the framework within the Peace and Friendship Treaty.
Vision: To strive to provide equitable and safe environments for Two Spirits and Indigenous LGBTQ+ to live and thrive spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally within our Wabanaki territory.
- develop supports for Two Spirits and Indigenous LGBTQ+ in areas of health, education, and socio-economic development and well-being;
- conduct research by Two Spirits and Indigenous LGBTQ+ for Two Spirits and Indigenous LGBTQ+ through community engagement and consultation;
- provide a voice for Two Spirits and Indigenous LGBTQ+ on all levels of interest including cultural knowledge, Two-Spirit identity including awareness, spirituality, and ceremony within Wabanaki Territory, nationally and internationally;
- strive to represent the unique perspectives of Two Spirits in gender and sexual identity, including all current and future development of rights for equality and representation in all levels of society within and outside our Wabanaki Territory.
- build relations and kinship within and outside Wabanaki Territory for knowledge and cultural sharing, policy development, partnership building with other LGBTQ+ and Allies to achieve our goals.
- develop ways to enhance the Alliance’s mandate within the Wabanaki Territory through knowledge sharing, collaboration, and representation of Two-Spirits.
The Alliance has organized local, regional and international gatherings in the region in collaboration with First Nations, Friendship Centres, and other regional 2SLGBTQ+ organizations. It has hosted three regional gatherings in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Bangor, Maine. It will host its fourth regional gathering in PEI in the fall of 2020. It has also hosted a series of local and community events in Eskasoni First Nation, Moncton, N.B., Mount Saint Vincent University, and Halifax, NS. During these gatherings, the Alliance seeks new representatives to volunteer as Alliance leaders.
In 2011, Two-Spirits gathered at Liscombe Lodge, NS to establish the Alliance with an Advisory of Elders, youth, volunteers, academics, and knowledge-holders. It was the first regional gathering in 15 years and was attended by 50+ Two-Spirits who shared their stories of survival, resiliency, and the celebration of life. It was at this gathering that the Mission and Vision were born for the Alliance, and also the Eagle Head Staff. It was also at the Liscombe gathering that the name of the Wabanaki Two Spirit Alliance was approved.