Manitoba

Two-Spirits Decolonizing Art celebrates LGBT artists for Pride week

Winnipeggers artists gathered at Thunderbird House Wednesday night to celebrate art from the two-spirited community.

Winnipeggers gather at Thunderbird House for lecture, exhibit and drum painting

Two-Spirits Decolonizing Art celebrates LGBT artists for Pride week

6 years ago
Duration 0:56
Winnipeggers gathered at Thunderbird House Wednesday night to celebrate art from the two-spirited community.

Winnipeggers gathered at Thunderbird House Wednesday night to celebrate art from the two-spirited community.

Two-Spirited People of Manitoba held a lecture and art opening as part of Pride week, with work from Kent Monkman and Rosalie Favell.

"During Pride we want to have a presence for Indigenous people who may be LGBTQ or two-spirit," said Two-Spirited People of Manitoba co-director Albert McLeod. "I think that it is important that people understand Canadian history and some aspects that were left out because of homophobia or transphobia."
Harmony Knott and Albert McLeod, co-directors of Two-Spirit People of Manitoba Inc., hold a drum painted Wednesday at the Two-Spirits Decolonizing Art in Winnipeg. (Jillian Taylor/CBC)

McLeod said prior to residential schools in 1870, there was awareness among Indigenous people of LGBT people, but that later changed.

"It is documented through poetry or other writings," said McLeod. "But after that period there are very few references … I think the Indian Residential School not only affected Indigenous people, but Canadian society as a whole in terms of attitudes of trans or lesbian or gay people."

A drum gifted to the organization from elder Mae Louis Campbell in 2000 was given a new hide and painted at the event, dubbed Two-Spirits Decolonizing Art, as a way to honour the music the group will play with it in the future. 

McLeod also noted the grand marshal of the Pride Parade this year is Gayle Pruden, a two-spirited woman.

"I am very proud of her. She has done a lot of work being a jingle dress dancer and travelling to different communities. She has earned recognition through her hard work," said McLeod.

Winnipeg's Pride Parade will be held on Sunday, June 5.

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