In The Beginning
For the first time in Canada, Aboriginal people who identified themselves as lesbian, gay or 2-Spirit came together for the sole purpose of meeting other people in the community who were like themselves. The meeting took place at 519 Curch street, Community Center on Sunday, Jaunary 22nd, 1989. It as quite a surprise when approximately 80 people turned up for this inital meeting which indicated to the organizers what a great need there was for such an organization as the 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations.
A diverse range of 1st Nations, Metis and Inuit people attended, representing some sixteen nations: Objiwe, Six Nations Confederacy, Inuit, Iroquois, Cree, Salish, Dene, Micmac, Balckfoot, Blood, Delaware and others. For Some of the attendees it was the first time that they had actually interacted with other Native people as the had been adopted by white families and had been raised in a non-native setting. It was an emotional, magical, and exciting spiritual event.
Since this initial gathering, 2-Spirits has grown in membership and scope. In response to the AIDS crisis, 2-Spirits has taken an active role in education and prevention strategies within the Aboriginal communities. We feel that 2- Spirits has been at the forefront of raising awareness, within the Aboiriginal communities throughout Canada, of the impact that HIV has on our people.
2 Spirited People of the 1st Nations (2 Spirits) is a non profit social service organization whose membership consists of Aboriginal 2-Spirit (people that carried male and female spirits) gay, lesbian, intersexed, bisexual, and trasngendered people in Toronto. Due to the AIDS epidemic, the organization was prompted to have health, counseling and advocacy expertise.
“We are the only Aboriginal non profit organaization in Canada that offers these services and support to two spirited people and to all Aboriginal people living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS”.
To create a space where Aboriginal 2-Spirited people can grow and come together as a community, fostering a positive image, honoring our past and building a future.
Together we can work toward bridging the gap between 2-spirited lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered communities, and our Aboriginal identity.