W2SA Success Stories in Atlantic Canada
- 2010: the W2SA received funding from Health Canada, Atlantic Aboriginal Health Research Program (AAHRP), and Aboriginal Affairs of Nova Scotia to host a regional gathering in Nova Scotia. More than 50 people attended a Gathering at Liscombe Lodge where there were workshops on Two-Spirit history and identity, sharing circles, and cultural activities. The highlight of the Gathering was when participants shared their heartfelt stories struggling with self-identity in their communities. The Gathering also provided the perfect platform to consult with Alliance members on priorities for future Gatherings, research topics, and building supports for health, education and cultural identity in the Atlantic region. Recommendations were made to develop a cultural competence module for suicide prevention and to gather stories to publish a book as a means to build continued support for youth who face challenges coming out. See video on It Gets Better by W2SA participants: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgG1o-JcKdw
- 2011: the W2SA hosted a follow-up gathering in Halifax where a suicide prevention module was introduced. The module was designed to incorporate Two-Spirit content to enhance ASIST training modules with cultural competence. The participants agreed to be first responders for suicide prevention and volunteered to take further training when funding is available. A report is available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- 2012: two WS2A youth representatives participated in Eagle’s LGBTQ Youth Suicide Prevention Summit 2012 held in Toronto to share W2SA’s efforts in providing supports and education on Two-Spirit information in the Atlantic. Recommendations from the summit are found in a final report on Eagle’s website:
W2SA provided updates and presentations at regional conferences on mental health and Two-Spirit topics at:
- 2011 – 2012, Atlantic First Nations Health Conference 2011 and 2012
- 2011 – 2012, Atlantic Health Directors Meetings 2011 and 2012
- 2013 - IWK Mental Health and Wellness Committee for cultural competence
- 2013 - W2SA presented at the 25th International Two-Spirit Gathering hosted by the North East Two-Spirited Society (NE2SS) in Camp DeWolfe, New York. Its theme was to celebrate 25 Years of Resilience, Healing and Restoring Honor. W2SA was successful in gaining support to hosting the 26th International Two-Spirit Gathering in 2014
- 2014 – W2SA hosted the 26th International Two-Spirit Gathering at Madawaska Maliseet Nation whereby it was announced to conduct a research study on coming out stories funded by UAKN.
- 2015 – 2017 – W2SA has presented at regional, national and international conferences on Two-Spirit identity and culture. It continues its campaign to represent and lobby for the improvement of services while providing cultural and educational supports in communities and post-secondary institutions.
- 2016 – W2SA coordinated with Eskasoni Kepmitelsi to host the first On Reserve (in community) Pride event in Atlantic Canada and the third across Canada. It co-sponsored the Eskasoni Kepmitelsi event in 2017 with Halifax Pride and the Youth Project.
- 2017 – Wabanaki Two-Spirit Alliance presented at six Atlantic pride events and led successfully submitted a community float in the Halifax Pride. It led the Halifax Pride parade in celebration of community diversity and Two-Spirit culture. Glooscap First Nation sponsored the float.
- 2017 – W2SA was successful in its funding application to Culture Nova Scotia to host a regional youth gathering at the Mount Saint Vincent University.
- 2017 – W2SA published its research findings with the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network (UAKN). The Coming Out Stories project was a two-year-long research project that gathered stories about coming out among Atlantic Two-spirits. See report: http://uakn.org/research-project/coming-out-stories-two-spirit-narratives-in-atlantic-canada/
Regional and International Knowledge Translation Activities
- October 2016 – Maine Minority Health Conference – Workshop on Two-Spirit Identity
- November 2016 - UPEI Gender and Sexuality Symposium—Keynote address
- Feb. 25, 2017 – Leadership Workshop for Young Gay/Bi/Trans Men for Totally Outright in Nova Scotia, AIDS Coalition NS, Cambridge Suites, Halifax, NS.
- August 2017 – Two-Spirit Identity Presentation, River of Pride, Moncton.
- September. 2017 - Research Presentation at the Cape Breton University on Coming Out Stories: Narratives by Two-Spirits.
- October 2017 – Closing Presentation at the Gay Men’s Health Summit in Vancouver B.C.