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Red River College Honours Two-Spirited Persons, Survivors of Residential School System

May 11, 2012

Red River College’s Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations department will host an event to connect Aboriginal LGBTT* people and RRC in a meaningful way that honours the voices of Indian Residential School Survivors.

On Thursday, May 17, 2012, the department will partner with Two Spirited People of Manitoba Inc., and the organizers of RRC’s LGBTT* Initiative, to host “Gakina Awiiyaa — We Are All Related,” an event celebrating both communities’ participation in post-secondary education.

The event will feature presentations by Kelly Houle, a two-spirited residential school survivor, and the University of Saskatchewan’s Dr. Alexandria Wilson, a member of the Opaskwayak First Nation who will speak about the effect of residential schools on Aboriginal gender identity, as well as the repercussions on education, communities and ceremony.

Held to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, the event stems from earlier presentations organized by Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations for RRC students and staff, exploring the impact of Western viewpoints on Aboriginal gender identities, as well as an overview of pre-colonial roles of Two-Spirit (LGBTT*) people.

The event will be held from 10am to 3pm, in RRC’s Medicine Wheel Garden (Notre Dame Campus). The full agenda for the day is as follows:

10am – 11am: Welcome and Greetings

  • Prayer and greeting: Elder Mae-Louise Campbell
  • Drum group opening song
  • Presentation of flag

11am – 12:30pm: Speakers

  • Kelly Houle, residential school survivor
  • Dr. Alexandria Wilson, University of Saskatchewan
  • Stephanie Forsyth, President and CEO Red River College

12:30pm – 2pm: Ceremony

  • Honour song
  • Pipe ceremony
  • Feast

2pm – 2:30pm: Discussions

  • Albert McLeod, RRC LGBTT* Initiative & Ally Project
  • Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations
  • Mae-Louise Campbell

2:30pm – 3pm: Closing

  • Pow wow demonstration dancing
  • Round Dance
  • Closing song

To register for the event, or for more information, contact Cheyenne Chartrand at 949-8506 or chchartrand@rrc.ca.