Two Spirit: A reclaimed identity

Before contact with colonizers, Two Spirit individuals were trusted and integral members of Indigenous communities. These Indigenous people identified as neither female nor male, but rather transcended the binary of gender, with many communities recognizing multiple genders. They were often seen as healers, teachers, spiritual leaders and medicine people. Being able to relate to both male and female perspectives, they would mediate conflict. Inclusiveness and acceptance in the community allowed for Two Spirit individuals to fulfill unique roles. However, colonization disrupted—and continues to disrupt—how Two Spirit people are viewed both inside and outside Indigenous communities.