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Indigenous Research Guide: Two Spirit and other Indigenous LGBTQ+ Identities

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Two-Spirit Definition

"Two-spirit, a translation of the Ojibwe term nizh manidoowag, is an identity that emerged in 1990 to describe third or fourth gender people in indigenous cultures (e.g., First nations, Metis, Inuit, American Indian, and Alaskan Native) across what is now called North America." (Robinson, 2017, page 9).


Robinson, M. (2017). Two-Spirit and Bisexual People: Different Umbrella, Same Rain. Journal of Bisexuality17(1), 7-29.

"Two-Spirit (2-Spirit): A term used by some North American Aboriginal societies to describe people with diverse gender identities, gender expressions, gender roles, and sexual orientations. Two-Spirit is translated from the Ojibew term 'Niizh manidoowag,' indicating a person whose body simultaneously houses a feminine and a masculine spirit. Dual-gendered, or ‘two-spirited,’ people have been and are viewed differently in different First Nations communities. Sometimes they have been seen without stigma and were considered seers, child-carers, warriors, mediators, or emissaries from the creator and treated with deference and respect, or even considered sacred, but other times this has not been the case. As one of the devastating effects of colonisation and profound changes in North American Aboriginal societies, many Two-Spirit folk have lost these community roles and this has had far-reaching impacts on their well-being."

Definition from: 

Finding Resources

When searching for resources in the catalogue for resources related to Indigenous people who identify as Two-Spirit or LGBTQ+ try some of the following termonology...

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