ANNOUNCING THE NEW INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF TWO SPIRIT SOCIETIES

ANNOUNCING THE NEW INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF TWO SPIRIT SOCIETIES

1st Mtg ICTSS
International Council of Two Spirit Societies (ICTSS) began with an initial organizational meeting at the 2015 Montana Two Spirit Gathering.  Representatives from Two Spirit societies and groups who were members of the National Confederacy of Two Spirit Societies met together to formally disband the confederacy and create a new more inclusive organization.  “The confederacy was flawed without any formal operating procedures and excluded Canadian Two Spirit groups.  We wanted to move forward and be inclusive of all the Two Spirit groups regardless of the colonial border.  The US-Canadian border is form a colonialism not originally recognized by the indigenous tribes on this continent,” stated Raven Heavy Runner, Blackfeet, one of the leaders of the Northwest Two Spirit Society.

The modern two spirit movement began in 1975 with the formation of Gay American Indians (GAI) in San Francisco, the first recognized gay/lesbian native organization in modern times.  GAI was formed years before the term “Two Spirit” was ever conceived.  Thereafter grassroots gay native groups began forming in Minneapolis, Toronto, Chicago and New York City.  Presently the ICTSS membership consists of 17 groups from the combined former members of the now defunct Confederacy along with a few Two Spirit groups from Canada.  A recent survey of online websites revealed that there are approximately 30 Two Spirit or LGBTQ native organization across the US and Canada.

wedding dresses NZ

First meeting of the International Council of Two Spirit Societies. pictured L to R: Marlon Fixico, Steven Barrios, Raven Heavy Runner, David Herrera, Gabriel Estrada

Among the goals the ICTSS are to support the health for all our relations; to establish mutual support for Two Spirit societies and individuals; create safe spaces for the next generations of Two Spirit and LGBTQ human beings to feel welcomed, valued and supported; to provide support for Two Spirit gatherings and other events all across Turtle Island; guidance for newly forming Two Spirit organizations; to promote reconnecting with our local tribes and communities as well as reclaiming our traditional roles by participating in ceremonies and other cultural events.   Although the ITCSS is not a political organization and as such does not intend to engage political issues, it is possible the ITCSS may formally advocate their collective stand on any issue.

New members of the ICTSS require sponsorship by a present member.  The sponsor will instruct the new applicants on the rest of the membership process.  There are two types of memberships available.  The primary membership is for Two Spirit/LGBTQ groups.  Only the ICTSS group members through their representatives will vote on any decisions.

Secondary memberships are for individuals called Individual Associate members.   The individual affiliate membership was created to include several types of folks.  One type are Two Spirit individuals who don’t have a local Two Spirit Society to join; another type are individuals who are elders but may not actively participate in a Two Spirit group but are recognized as highly valued for the wisdom and knowledge of their experience; and a third type of individuals are those who are allies but not necessarily LGBTQ2 or even indigenous but who have tirelessly given their time efforts with Two Spirit is support organizations.

The ICTSS presently include the following members with links to their respective websites and names & email addresses of their representatives:

1 Northwest Two-Spirit Society, Seattle, WA  Raven Heavy Runner

raven_hr@hotmail.com

  www.facebook.com/groups/36398889337/  Hiram Calf Looking

hcalflookingsr@yahoo.com

2 Montana Two-Spirit Society, Browning, MT  Steven Barrios

sbarrios16@yahoo.com

Primary website: http://mttwospirit.org/

Alternate website:  www.facebook.com/groups/65877056817/

 David Herrara

outinmt@aol.com

3 Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits (BAAITS)

San Francisco & Oakland area

 Roger Kuhn, Chairman

rogerkuhn@me.com

Primary website: http://www.baaits.org/

Alternate website: www.facebook.com/baaitscommunity

 Derek Smith, Secretary

derekrsmith@gmail.com

4 Two-Spirit Society of Indian Canyon,

Indian Canyon, CA

 Kanyon Sayers-Roods

Indiancanyon.kanyon@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/groups/407876099253831/ Zephyr Elise

Zephyr.elise@gmail.com

5 East Coast Two Spirit Society,

New York Atlantic Region

OmiSade Yemaya

firstnationsllc@gmail.com

Primary website: http://www.ec2ss.net/

Alternate website: www.facebook.com/ec2ss

Ben Geboe

ben.geboe@mail.mcgill.ca

Sheldon Raymore

sheldonraymore@yahoo.com

6 Texas Two Spirit Society,

Dallas / Fort Worth, TX area

Barry Layton

barry.layton@texastwospirits.com

Primary website: http://www.texastwospirits.org

Alternate website: www.facebook.com/groups/texastwospirits/

Darla Harrison

sweetwillow_11@hotmail.com

7 Idaho Two-Spirit Society, Boise / Fort Hall, ID area Aiden Shortcloud

AidenRainWarrior@yahoo.com

Primary website: http://www.id2ss.com/

Alternate website: www.facebook.com/groups/256865671182344/

Spirit Wildcat

spiritwildcat1983@yahoo.com

8 City of Angels Two Spirit Society, Los Angeles, CA Hudson Tibbets, co-chair

hutsun@aol.com

www.facebook.com/groups/543290225692505/ Rachel Fernandez, co-chair
Gabriel Estrada, Secretary

gabriel.estrada@csulb.edu

9 Indiana Two-Spirit Society, Indianapolis, IN Nathan Steininger

natstein@umail.iu.edu

www.facebook.com/IndianaTwoSpiritSociety
10 Central Oklahoma Two Spirit Society,

Oklahoma City, OK

Kelly Blair

kelleybblair@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/groups/236506419795648/ Sage Chanell

nativeprince51@gmail.com

11 Tulsa Two-Spirit Society, Tulsa, OK John Hawk Co-cke’

hawknesw@yahoo.com

www.facebook.com/2SpiritTulsa/

 

 

12 Wichita Two-Spirit Society, Wichita, KS Brent Kennedy

watchesmany@yahoo.com

Primary website: www.ict2ss.com/

Alternate website: www.facebook.com/groups/172555332761481/

Pam Hursh-Harjo

pharjo@hunterhealthclinic.org

13 Portland’s Indigenous Two Spirits, Portland, OR Candi Brings Plenty

candice5@pdx.edu

Primary website: www.facebook.com/Portland2Spirits/

Alternate website: www.facebook.com/groups/PDXIndigenous2ss/

14 #2SYEG, Edmonton, Alberta James Makokis

james.makokis@gmail.com

No website as of 01-01-2017 Ed Lavallee

edlavallee@shaw.ca

15 Wabanaki Two Spirit Alliance,

Canadian Atlantic Seaboard region

John Sylliboy

johnrsylliboy@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/groups/wabanaki2spirits/ Tuma Young

tumayoung@me.com

16 Saskatoon Two Spirit Society, Inc.,

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Niya Socopo

niyasakebow@hotmail.com

www.facebook.com/groups/21661965446/
17 Two-Spirited People of Manitoba Inc.,

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Albert McLeod

twospiritedmanitoba@hotmail.com

Primary website: www.twospiritmanitoba.ca/

Alternate website:  www.facebook.com/groups/89281699614/

Peetanacoot Nenakawekapo

wannamawn@live.ca