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Reclaiming the traditional role of Two-Spirited people in post-secondary and community education

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Title: Reclaiming the traditional role of Two-Spirited people in post-secondary and community education
Author: Plaut, Shayna; Kirk, David
Subject Keywords Indigenous;Two Spirit
Issue Date: 2012-09
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2012-09-28
Series/Report no. University of British Columbia; CCFI 601B & EDST 565A
Abstract: Two-Spirited people, people who identify as mixed/ambiguous/plural gender, traditionally had a special, if not revered role in the social and cultural fabric of over 100 Indigenous nations in North America. The current prevalence of homophobia, including violent rejection and isolation from family and community found within Indigenous communities today, is a relatively new phenomenon. We argue this is a symptom of colonization and goes against traditional cultural norms of respect, if not cultivation, of difference in order to achieve balance. This notion of balance – a respect of difference -- is a fundamental part of Indigenous teachings and learning. This paper, builds upon academic, traditional and personal knowledge, to explore how such a drastic transformation took place across the continent in less than a century and how Indigenous communities can reclaim the traditional knowledge espoused by Two-Spirited people. Our goal, as community and post-secondary educators, is to provide a means of using traditional culture to help change imposed colonial cultural repression and shame.
Affiliation: Education, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/43292
Peer Review Status: Unreviewed
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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