November 03, 2012

University of Alberta's two-spirit conference

U of A conference looks into the world of two-spirited people

By Elise StolteFor Dr. James Makokis, being native and gay means coming from a long line of valued healers.

Aboriginal people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered call themselves two spirited. “There have always been a place for two-spirited people in our communities,” says Makokis, a local doctor and a keynote speaker for at a conference this weekend on two-spirited people.

The University of Alberta is hosting the conference, which it believes is a first for a major research university in Canada. The conference is also connected to a one-man play, Agokwe, which runs until Nov. 11 at the Catalyst Theatre. In Agokwe, actor Waawaate Fobister remembers his own first love interest and heartbreak on a northern Ontario reserve.
Comment:  For more on LGBT issues, see Transgendered Natives Face More Discrimination and Fictional Characters Make Acceptance Easier.

Below:  "James Makokis grew up on the Saddle Lake Cree Nation and now lives in Edmonton. He works three days a week as a family physician in the southern Alberta Siksika reserve." (Ed Kaiser/Edmonton Journal)

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