“Respect me for who I truly am; I am worthy of your respect.”
At the Sun’aq Tribe, we provide advocacy and resources for LGBTQ and ‘Two Spirit’ youth and adults who may have been victimized due to their sexual identity, gender, or otherwise.
LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender / Transsexual / Transitioning, and Questioning.
‘Two-spirited’ refers to a person who has both a masculine and a feminine spirit, and it used by some First Nations people to describe their sexual, gender and/or spiritual identity. As an umbrella term it may encompass same-sex attraction and a wide variety of gender variance, including people who might be described in Western culture as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gender queer, cross-dressers or who have multiple gender identities.
The creation of the term ‘two-spirited’ is attributed to Albert McLeod, who proposed its use during the Third Annual Inter-Tribal Native American, First Nations, Gay and Lesbian American Conference, held in Winnipeg in 1990. (Gilly 2006)
Some of the issues surrounding the LGBTQ/Two-Spirited Community can include:
- Loss of identity and culture
- Alienation from friends and family
- Harassment or hate crimes
- Domestic violence
- Coming out
- Religious rejection
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Unreported abuse
We would like to help in any way that we can, and will refer anyone who may need assistance to the resources they require, regardless of their sexual identity. Our goal is to provide awareness and resources for our LGBTQ and Two-Spirit community members, and become allies in the Kodiak Community.
“Kodiak Island Male with Female tattoos”
possibly a kássaq or shaman, 1791
“Throughout the circumpolar region, shamans served as intermediaries between the living and the dead, between humans and animals, between the genders, and between the spirits and deities. They were considered “wise-men” able to forecast the future, the weather, and had the ability to purify or cure ailing individuals through physical and ritual diagnoses. Among the Inuit of Canada, mythology reveals that a transgendered shaman created all women and this was directly associated with his ability to straddle the procreative nature of the sexes.” source