Saskatchewan community hosts first Two-Spirit Pride Festival

Written by admin on 26/04/2020 Categories: 老域名购买

The Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation made Saskatchewan history Thursday by hosting its inaugural Two-Spirit Pride Festival.

It’s believed to be the first two-spirit festival in the province.

Kevin Seesequasis, the first openly gay councillor in the community, brought the idea to the band council. On May 31, a parade and festival were unanimously approved.

“It’s a good way to prompt a discussion and move forward demonstrating acceptance and inclusion in our community,” Seesequasis said.

READ MORE: Moose Jaw’s first ever pride parade draws hundreds to Saskatchewan’s friendly city

Two-spirit people are indigenous and gender variant, often identifying as members of the LGBT community in some form.

Seesequasis and members of the Beardy’s & Okemasis band council led a procession through the community to the band office.

Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation is about 90 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

Ryan Kessler / Global News

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    Two-spirit people were traditionally accepted members of First Nations communities, treated with dignity and respect, according to Beardy’s & Okemasis Chief Rick Gamble.

    “They were never in any way, shape or form ostracized. They were never demeaned or anything like that. They were loved and they were part of the community,” Gamble said.

    “We were a part of them. They were a part of us. We lived in harmony,” he added.

    READ MORE: Canadian Forces base in Moose Jaw, Sask. second in Canada to raise Pride flag

    Angela Gardipy was among the crowd of people waving rainbow flags, carrying signs and wearing bright clothing. She came out as a gay woman six months ago.

    The Beardy’s parade was her first.

    “I’m just so proud of my first nation that they’re doing this. I’m so happy that I’m here,” Gardipy said.

    Ryan Kessler / Global News

    After the parade, members of council raised the pride flag on the band office’s flag pole.

    Gamble shared council’s proclamation of the event with the crowd. Seesequasis read a letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, celebrating the “inclusive initiative.”

    The community plans to bring the festival back in 2017.

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