Indigenous Education

Virtual Pride Events Explore the Two Spirit Experience

June 1, 2021

Pride Week 2021 features live events and self-guided resources that explore LGBTQ2+ inclusion and the Two-Spirt identity

Red River College’s Pride Week 2021, June 7-11, offers opportunities for the College community to gather virtually, create safer spaces and learn together.

“June is Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month, and the College has very strong Indigenous supports as well as powerful commitments through diversity and inclusion for LGBTQ2+. However, we witnessed the opportunity for education, enlightenment, and further inclusion for Two Spirit persons. During Pride 2021 we have decided to highlight Two Spirit identity, and provide opportunities for knowledge sharing and the creation of safe(r) spaces as we work towards enhancing inclusion and equity at the College,” says Priyanji Mediwake, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist.

The week begins with RRC’s Pride flag raising ceremonies with Fred Meier, President & CEO, and Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic. Events include three live virtual opportunities as well as self-guided from the National Film Board of Canada and resources. The live events will provide opportunities for participants to engage in the conversation, share in a virtual Healing Lodge with Elder Gayle Pruden, a Two-Spirit Anishinaabe dancer, and hear lived experiences with special guests who will share more about the meaning of Two Spirit – from pre-colonization to the present. Live events will be held by either WebEx or Microsoft teams.

Thursday, June 10 – Live
Live: Panel Event: Healing and Reclaiming Two-Spirit Identity

12 – 1:30 pm
WebEx Events

Prior to colonization, First Nation’s peoples did not try to fit their societies into binaries of male and female for gender nor for sexuality. Those peoples who did not fit into these roles were given room to live, express themselves, and contribute to the community in a good way. Two Spirit people were celebrated and given important responsibilities such as teaching, healing, and leading.

Dr. Elaine Mordoch will present research findings on behalf of their research team to lead us into the panel discussion. Then, our panelists we will go on to unpack the Two-Spirited identity prior to contact, discuss how colonization has impacted Two Spirit ways of being in today’s culture and we will then discuss how these communities are reclaiming culture and space today. There will be an opportunity for you to ask panelists a question.


  • Lorne Olson, Filmmaker
  • Levi Alizaar Foy (Manidoo-gwiiwizens), Executive Director, Sunshine House
  • Barbara Bruce, O.M., President, All My Relations Inc; Associate of AMR Planning & Consulting
  • Dr. Myra Laramee, Indigenous Elder
  • Moderated by Bradley C West. CPHR. SHRM-SCP. CCP.PMC

“The word Two Spirit actually originated from Winnipeg. We have so many strong, intelligent, esteemed voices in this space locally, so to have them together for this discussion will be powerful,” says Carla Kematch, Manager, Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement. “It’s so important that we create opportunities for stories to be heard and to be able to have conversations in a safe space, especially when we need to try and create connections during this time of self-isolation. Cultural reclamation requires our attention, time and effort. We invite all to explore what the Indigenous perspective was pre-colonization and what it means today.”

To learn more and read panelist biographies, visit

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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