One of the atrocities of colonization is the erasure of identity and social role. The term “Two-Spirit” originated in Winnipeg, Canada in 1990 during the third annual intertribal Native American/First Nations gay and lesbian conference. It comes from the Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) words niizh manitoag (two-spirits). Two Spirit is used by many Indigenous folks across Turtle Island, along with Indigiqueer, LGBTIQ, and named identities in their language.  

Learn about Two-Spirit through listening to a Two-Spirit person’s journey through barriers of colonization to claim their identity and the importance of culture and storytelling for healing and decolonizing. Their story will include their journey to identity, what inspires them and continues to motivate them on their journey. 

Free or by donation.

For questions and more information, please email: 


 Joshua Whitehead (he/him) is a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is currently a Ph.D. candidate, lecturer, and Killam scholar at the University of Calgary where he studies Indigenous literatures and cultures with a focus on gender and sexuality. His dissertation, tentatively titled “Feral Fatalisms,” is a hybrid narrative of theory, essay, and non-fiction that interrogates the role of “ferality” inherent within Indigenous ways of being (with a strong focus on nêhiyawewin).

He is the author of full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks 2017) which was shortlisted for the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. He is also the author of Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press 2018) which was long listed for the Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Indigenous Voices Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction and the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction.

Whitehead is currently working on a third manuscript titled, Making Love with the Land to be published with Knopf Canada, which explores the intersections of Indigeneity, queerness, and, most prominently, mental health through a nêhiyaw lens. Currently, Whitehead is premiering his newly edited anthology, Love after the End: an Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction. You can find his work published widely in such venues as Prairie Fire, CV2, EVENT, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Fiddlehead, Grain, CNQ, Write, and Red Rising Magazine. 

Photo credit: Sweetmoon Photography Tenille Campbell 

Will You Invest in GBT2Q Health and Wellbeing?

Give HIM a Hand by donating $10/month and become a monthly donor with HIM.

Your donations helps HIM continue to advocate for our communities’ health and wellbeing and allows us to innovate new programming that centres around the most vulnerable populations among us.