Interested in learning more about the world and history? Suffolk Discovers meets every month to discuss a new theme that explores the cultures and backgrounds of people in our communities. For adults.
For Native American Heritage Month, we’re excited to host Cree and Métis Elder of the Micmac Wolf Clan Laureen (Blu) Waters, spirit name Istchii Nikamoon, and human rights activist Albert McLeod.
Registration required to attend virtually. Registered participants will provide their email address to receive a link to the Zoom meeting at least 15 minutes before the program begins. The event will be recorded and shared after the event on Suffolk Public Library’s YouTube channel.
Register here: https://suffolkpubliclibrary.libcal.com/event/9238387
About the Talk
A sweeping history of Indigenous traditions of gender, sexuality, and resistance that reveals how, despite centuries of colonialism, Two-Spirit people are reclaiming their place in Native nations. Before 1492, hundreds of Indigenous communities across North America included people who identified as neither male nor female, but both. They went by aakíí’skassi, miati, okitcitakwe or one of hundreds of other tribally specific identities. Reclaiming Two-Spirits amplifies their voices, reconnecting their history to Native nations in the 21st century.
About the Panelists
Laureen (Blu) Waters, spirit name Istchii Nikamoon, is a Cree and Métis Elder of the Micmac Wolf Clan. Some of their gifts include giving traditional spirit names, hand drumming, house cleansing, and song and creative writing. Blu spent 2.5 years working for the National Inquiry for Murdered and Missing Women as a Grandmother to Commissioner Brian Eyelfson and sits on the Grandmother Circle. They also sit on the Thunder Women Healing Lodge as a Director of the Board and as the Ontario representative for Metis people with 2 Spirits In Motion Board. Blu provides ceremony, teaching, and counselling for 2 Spirit People of the First Nations in Toronto. They are a graduate of DeVry Institute of Technology, receiving their business software micro-computer architecture and A+ certification.
Albert McLeod is a Status Indian with ancestry from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Metis communities of Cross Lake and Norway House in northern Manitoba. He has over thirty years of experience as a human rights activist and was one of the founders of the 2-Spirited People of Manitoba. Albert began his 2Spirit advocacy in Winnipeg in 1986 and became an HIV/AIDS activist in 1987. He was the director of the Manitoba Aboriginal AIDS Task Force from 1991 to 2001. In 2018, Albert received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Winnipeg. He was also a member of the sub-working group that produced the MMIWG – 2SLGBTQQIA+ National Action Plan Report in 2020-2021. In 2020, Albert joined Team Thunderhead, the team that recently won the international competition to design the LGBTQ2+ National Monument in Ottawa.