Uniting Resilience, and founders Monique and Felipa, are being are spotlighted by Curve for Native American Heritage Month!!
We are a safe, supportive, and empowering space for the Native Two Spirit LGBTQ+ community.
Native American Cultures have held Two-Spirit members, feminine males and masculine females in high respect, as healers, mediators, shamans, visionaries, and leaders – focusing on their spiritual gifts. The Native societies see a person's basic character as a reflection of their spirit. Everything that exists is thought to come from the Spirit World
History of the term TWO SPIRIT
and its definition.
In 1990 a group of LGBTQIA elders gathered at the Third Annual InterTribal Native American First Nations Gay and Lesbian American conference in Winnapeg. It was at this conference they coined the term "two spirit". Tribal nations have always had words of their own to address every variety of gender identification. The elders knew that no one nation's terminology could be truly representative for all. They chose "two-spirit" as an all-inclusive term to identify members of the Native American LGBTQIS communnity.
In the spring of 2019 before founding Uniting Resilience, co-founders Muffie and Felipa crafted and passed the first and ONLY hate crime bill ever voted into law on tribal lands across the country.
IAlong with the first ever same sex marriage statute on Pine Ridge reservation, they followed up enacting the same laws on Crow Creek, and Sisseton-Wahpeton. They plan to do the same on all nine tribes of the Oceti Sakowin.
In 2021 they formed a 501c3. They assembled a working committee made up of some of the very people at the 1990 meeting and worked with Senator Red Dawn Foster to bring Senate Bill 166 to the South Dakota Legislature. It was a hate crime bill. Legislators asked "two-spirit" to be defined. This was the first and only time it as been legally defined in all 50 states. After the first reading legislators said it would pass if they dropped the term "native two-spirit" from the bill. Untiting Resilience refused. And although the bill was dropped the legal defiinition was now on the books.
Muffie and Felipa continue to educate and advocate and will reintroduce the bill until South Dakota has a hate crime bill enacted that includes native two-spirits.
The names of the elders involved with establishing the term and definitions that were at both meetings are:
Clyde Hall - Shoshone
Beverly Little Thunder-Hunkpapa ( Standing Rock)
Marlon Fixco- Oklahoma tribe
Honor goes to them for their long advocacy work.