MINNEAPOLIS- AUG 31- Indigenous GLBT people across the country have been engaged in a national dialogue in 2005 about the role of media and journalists in news stories concerning Native communities. Two Spirit representatives participated in a national remote summit to address the need for building media literacy, using the arts and newer technologies to combine them with ancient messages of tolerance for a world that is fast moving away from respect for religious freedom and tolerance.
“Mainstream journalists, including GLBT journalists, often fail to grasp the issues of sovereignty and culture that are key to understanding the dynamics in Native populations,” said Richard LaFortune, Campaign Director for 2SPR, the Two Spirit Press Room. “We are building media literacy among Native GLBT communities and cultural literacy among journalists, so that the beliefs and stereotypes of non-Native people are no longer imposed upon us. Two Spirit Native Media & Community Briefing examines many of the issues that need to be addressed cooperatively by journalists and grassroots organizers.”
Native GLBT communities face several obstacles interacting with journalists :
- A digital divide that makes building durable communications difficult
- Economic injustice, often resulting in lack of access to organizing tools
- Prevalent stereotypes and a lack of cultural literacy among journalists
“Our communities need to be included in the boardroom and the press room,” noted LaFortune. “Native voices now must be heard across the land.”
2SPR is supported in part by grants from The Funding Exchange. 2SPR is a Media and Cultural Literacy Project that focuses on the cultural and spiritual inheritances and rights of Native GLBT and Two Spirit People. Its work is centered in cultivating accurate portrayals of Native GLBT people in the press, community-building; and leadership of Native women.