Background and Purpose of Survey

The University of Alberta's Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (ISMSS) runs an Edmonton based program, Where the Rivers Meet. The program is designed to address systemic discrimination and support Two-Spirit and LGBT+ Indigenous youth using traditional knowledge and teachings that focus on building tools for Two-spirit and LGBT+ Indigenous allyship on and off reserves. A confluence (where two rivers meet) is sacred. It is a place where elders and knowledge keepers come to reconnect with the land, replenish their knowledge, and a place where youth can go to help them connect with the creator. The Edmonton based program is grounded in ceremony and the celebration of Two-Spirit people and their multiple identities. In order to maintain the program’s alignment with its ceremonial roots, its core mandates are: Inter-Community Healing, Responsible Stewardship, and Responsibility to the Teachings of the Land. Where the Rivers Meet is built in traditional knowledges and is committed to being accountable to protocol teachings from the territory in which it operates.

Centre for Sexuality is determining if we should, and how we can, adapt the Edmonton based program to meet the needs and uniqueness of Two-Spirt and Indigenous LGBT+ youth in Treaty 7. Part of this includes completing a needs assessment to identify what services and supports individuals who identify as Two-Spirit or as an Indigenous LGBT+ youth in Treaty 7, require.  We want to build a greater understanding of their sexual health needs and service gaps. Importantly, we also want to better understand if and what Indigenous communities in Treaty 7 see as our role in supporting individuals who identify as Two-Spirit, both youth and adult, and LGBT+ Indigenous youth. The results will direct program development, and we sincerely hope will also lead to the continued expansion of our work with Indigenous communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about our past and present work with Indigenous peoples residing in Alberta, please the PDF attached to the email that contained this link.
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