All across Turtle Island during the month of June, individuals will gather to celebrate inclusiveness, diversity, and love as part of Pride month celebrations. 2019 marks the 5th year since the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation became the first First Nation in North America to host a Pride parade. Every year since then, our celebration has become bigger and better than ever, and this year is no different.
For 2019, we’ve partnered with our friends at OUTSaskatoon and in addition to our Two Spirit Pride Parade, we’ll also be hosting the first-ever Two Spirit Powwow on a First Nation in Canada!
Here’s the agenda for the day, Saturday, June 15th:
Flag Raising Ceremony – Band Office, 10:00am
Parade Departure – Band Office, 10:30am
Lunch – Veterans Hall, 11:00am
Grand Entry – Powwow Arbour, 1pm
School groups, community organizations, businesses – everyone is welcome to join us to celebrate Two Spirit Pride!
MEDIA RELEASE: Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation partners with OUTSaskatoon to host Two Spirit Powwow
Saskatoon, SK, Treaty 6 – For the first time in Canada, a First Nation will host an on-reserve Two Spirit Traditional Powwow on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation as part of Saskatoon Pride festivities.
“We are thrilled to partner with OUTSaskatoon and host the first-ever Two Spirit Powwow on a First Nation in Canada!” exclaimed Kevin Seesequasis, a Councillor with the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation and member of the Two-Spirit Powwow organizing committee. “Our celebration has always been about demonstrating love, understanding, respect, and acceptance to individuals in our community who identify as Two-Spirit. Now we can also showcase our beautiful First Nations culture!”
“Last year’s Two Spirit Powwow was a powerful, emotional, and awe-inspiring event and we are honoured to be able to work with Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation to hold the Powwow on a First Nation. For OUTSaskatoon, the Two Spirit Powwow is as much a gathering place for Two Spirit people from across the prairies as it is an expression of our organizational commitment to decolonization and reconciliation. Like everyone in this country, we are called to action, and how joyful that this action includes participating in ceremony, building relationships, and bearing witness to Two Spirit dancers young and old.” – Rachel Loewen Walker, Executive Director, OUTSaskatoon
Last summer, OUTSaskatoon hosted the first Two Spirit Powwow at the University of Saskatchewan.
“As a Two Spirit transgender gay man, the impacts of colonialism and the introduction of transphobia and homophobia to Indigenous communities have incited marginalization to our otherwise traditional structures” explains Jack Saddleback, the Two Spirit Coordinator at OUTSaskatoon and member of the Two Spirit Powwow organizing committee. “Through this important work, we are actively decolonizing our Indigenous worldviews of gender that speaks to loving and respecting each other as the unique individuals we all are and recognizing that we all have a place within our communities.“
The day-long powwow will start with a Grand Entry at 1:00 pm at the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation powwow arbour just south of the town of Duck Lake.
“We look forward to welcoming all dancers from all territories to our powwow” concluded Seesequasis.
– 30 –
For more information, please contact:
Chief & Council Communications
COUNCILLOR STATEMENT: INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA, BIPHOBIA, #NOH8!
Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation, Treaty 6 – The following statement was released today by Councillor Kevin Seesequasis on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia:
“Today as we observe International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, I am proud to announce that the 3rd Annual Two-Spirit Pride Festival and Parade will occur on June 15th at the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation.
Three years ago, our community took a giant leap forward and proclaimed that at the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation, it’s ok to be who you are – we accept you, and we love you. Three years ago, we became the 1st First Nation in Saskatchewan to host a Two-Spirit Pride Parade and became an example to First Nations everywhere of what acceptance, and love for one another truly looks like.
This year for the third time, we have once again proclaimed our Pride!
But there are those who still don’t understand that the values of kinship and respect in our community run deeper than those of intolerance.
On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, I encourage all band members to look beyond preconceived notions of who Two-Spirits (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer individuals) are, and instead recognize kahkiyaw niwakomakanak – see the son, the daughter, the nephew, the niece; see the cousin, the aunt, the uncle, the kohkum, and the moshum; recognize all our relations. See that in spite of what you may have heard or what you may believe, what we know is that we are all related. And those bonds can never be broken.
At the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation – despite the many differences that make each of us unique – there is #NoH8!”