For the first time in Canada, a First Nation will host an on-reserve Two Spirit Traditional Powwow.
It will be held at the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation on Saturday, June 15 as part of Saskatoon Pride festivities.
“We are thrilled to partner with OUTSaskatoon and host the first-ever Two Spirit Powwow on a First Nation in Canada!” said Kevin Seesequasis, a councillor with the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation and member of the Two-Spirit Powwow organizing committee.
“Our celebration has always been about demonstrating love, understanding, respect, and acceptance to individuals in our community who identify as Two-Spirit. Now we can also showcase our beautiful First Nations culture!”
“Last year’s Two Spirit Powwow was a powerful, emotional, and awe-inspiring event and we are honoured to be able to work with Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation to hold the powwow on a First Nation,” said Rachel Loewen Walker, executive director, OUTSaskatoon. Last summer, OUTSaskatoon hosted the first Two Spirit Powwow at the University of Saskatchewan.
“For OUTSaskatoon, the Two Spirit Powwow is as much a gathering place for Two Spirit people from across the prairies as it is an expression of our organizational commitment to decolonization and reconciliation. Like everyone in this country, we are called to action, and how joyful that this action includes participating in ceremony, building relationships, and bearing witness to Two Spirit dancers young and old.”
“As a Two Spirit transgender gay man, the impacts of colonialism and the introduction of transphobia and homophobia to Indigenous communities have incited marginalization to our otherwise traditional structures,” explains Jack Saddleback, the Two Spirit Coordinator at OUTSaskatoon and member of the Two Spirit Powwow organizing committee.
“Through this important work, we are actively decolonizing our Indigenous worldviews of gender that speaks to loving and respecting each other as the unique individuals we all are and recognizing that we all have a place within our communities.“
The day-long powwow will start with a Grand Entry at 1 p.m. at the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation powwow arbour just south of the town of Duck Lake.
“We look forward to welcoming all dancers from all territories to our powwow,” said Seesequasis.