Message from the Chief – June 14th 2024

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The month of June brings a lot of excitement as our teachers and students are counting down to the last day of school.  Bikes and scooters are tuned up and campers are ready to go!  As classroom learning comes to an end, this month offers opportunities to learn of the dual significance of both Indigenous History Month and Pride Month.

June is a time to celebrate the beauty and diversity of 2SLGBTQIA+ identities, but it is also an opportunity to acknowledge the unique role that Two-Spirit (2S) individuals play in our community.

Long before the arrival of European settlers on Turtle Island, the concept of Two-Spirit individuals thrived within Indigenous communities. These individuals, often embracing both masculine and feminine spirits, were esteemed as gifted members of their communities.

The term “Two-Spirit” itself emerged more recently, in 1990 during the Third Annual Intertribal Native American, First Nations, Gay and Lesbian American Conference in Winnipeg. Coined by Elder Myra Laramee, it derives from the Anishnaabemowin term “niizh manidoowag,” meaning “two spirits.”

While the concept of 2 Spirit holds significance within many Indigenous philosophies, it is not universal across all cultures. It is also very important to acknowledge that Two-Spirit identity cannot be appropriated by non-Indigenous individuals.

Let us set an example of respect and celebrate our diversity, not only during Pride and Indigenous History Month but every day of the year.

Classroom doors may be closing, but our hearts and minds should remain open to ensure every member of our community feels safe and valued. We should always be respectful of where we are on our journeys and allow each other the space to safely find our way.

Afterall, there’s nothing more extraordinary than the colours of the rainbow.