Video Archive

Coya Talks About the First Nations Two Spirit Collective

While at the BOLD Gathering in Minneapolis in December 2011, Astraea caught up with Coya, a member of the First Nations Two Spirit Collective. Coya tells us about the collective's work to bring the issue sovereignty and indigenous identity front and center in the LGBT movement. The First Nations Two Spirit Collective is a newer organization funded by Astraea through the U.S. General Fund. The Collective is comprised of Indigenous peoples who identify as two spirit, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gender-non-conforming, queer and allies. Of the 400 Native cultures on Turtle Island (what is now considered North America), over 155 have documented traditions of Two Spirit members. Colonization, genocide and religious persecution have all played a part in making the history of Two Spirit people invisible. Today, Two Spirit teens have the highest suicide rate of all ethic groups. The Collective addresses issues of Two Spirit people through organizing and education and by promoting personal and spiritual sustainability in the larger social justice and LGBTQ movement.