April 19, 2018
Today, many two-spirited Indigenous people face intimidation and discrimination in their communities as well as in non-indigenous areas due to their orientation or identity. As well, Indigenous people live multiple discriminations due to being women, Indigenous and two-spirited.
QNW wished to become more involved in tackling the issues of homophobia and transphobia to ensure more secure spaces for its members by creating an LGBTQI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Plus) and Two-Spirited Inclusive Policy.
Working closely with Indigenous youth leaders and partners QNW prepared a draft policy to be presented to the QNW Youth Council for consultation. On August 20, 2017, QNW held an LGBTQI+/Two-Spirited community breakfast to consult with members regarding the proposed policy, as well as participated in the Indigenous contingent opening the Montreal Pride Parade.
On November 11th the final policy was presented by the youth committee to QNW Annual General Assembly and passed unanimously.
As a result of the project, there is more awareness on the issue of LGBTQI+ and Two-Spirited rights and inclusion in the Indigenous community, as well as knowledge of sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Additionally, there is greater awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQI+ community and realities they encounter within the QNW organization and its members.
"As an Indigenous woman working in empowerment and development work, I think concepts such as intersectionality and holistic progress are essential. The LGBTQI+ community is an important and valued part of the greater Indigenous population and they should receive proper respect, inclusion and support in every one of QNW's initiatives. All Indigenous identities are valuable and we are committed to honoring the diversity of our peoples." - Youth Coordinator, QNW