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Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences

Two-Spirit Identity in a Time of Gender Fluidity

By Margaret Robinson, PhD, 2019

Indigenous sexual and gender minority people have been identifying as two-spirit since 1990 and are reclaiming traditional Indigenous gender terms such as nádleehí or agokwe. At the same time, Settler-dominated communities are undergoing a cultural shift toward challenging binary categories of sex and gender, causing some Settler governments to adopt a multigender framework reminiscent of the Indigenous systems they aimed to erase through colonial systems and practices. This article examines how shifts in Settler gender frameworks relate to traditional and contemporary understandings of gender in Indigenous nations and how Indigenous gender systems support resistance to ongoing colonization.

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