Elena Abel Social Worker

424 Catherine Street, Ottawa

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Minwaashin Lodge’s Two Spirit Program is designed to support the journey of our Two Spirit community, as well as share education and awareness on Two Spirit identity and history.
The term “Two Spirit” is a cultural term used to describe Aboriginal people who may also identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning. The term “Two Spirit” acknowledges the gender inclusiveness of our traditional Aboriginal cultures and some also describe it as a balance of male and female spirit. Prior to colonization, most Aboriginal nations understood gender beyond male or female, and those who were “Two Spirited” held special roles within their community, such as mediators, teachers and visionaries. Today, the Two Spirit movement is working towards reclaiming our cultural teachings and restoring a place of honour for all Two Spirited people.
The Two Spirit program schedule includes both afternoon and evening activities each week. Recent programming has included:

  • Elder visits and protocol teachings
  • Drum making and drum awakening
  • Two Spirit Sweat lodge ceremonies
  • Sweetgrass Picking & Picnic
  • Aboriginal crafts and jewellery making
  • Pride Parade and fundraising activities
  • Aboriginal crafts and jewellery making
  • Movie & Game Nights
  • Two Spirit Coffee Socials
  • Strawberry and Apple Picking
  • Two Spirit Social Circle with Pink Triangle Services
  • Visits to the National Arts Centre, Saw Gallery and the Library Archives
  • Two Spirit Service Provider network
  • Participation on various GLBT Liaison Committees
  • Two Spirit presentations for community groups
  • Referral and support services

Minwaashin continues to provide a safe and welcoming space for the Two Spirit community through a wide range of cultural and recreational programming. New referrals are always welcome.