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NCTR Dialogues – Sharing Survivor Perspectives on Truth and Reconciliation

The first live event is on Two-Spirit Reconciliation – June 23 at 12 p.m. (CST)

June 16, 2020 — 

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is holding a live summer video series on Facebook with Survivors, Elders, researchers and Indigenous allies on truth and Reconciliation topics.

To celebrate Pride month, the NCTR’s first live event – on June 23 at 12 p.m. (CST) – will discuss the topic Two-Spirit Reconciliation and will be hosted by Candy Palmater and joined by inter-generational Survivor Dr. Albert Mcleod and inter-generational Survivor Harlan Pruden.

This discussion will examine the term Two-Spirit, where it came from and what meaning is embodied within. How does (re)claiming Indigenous notions of gender roles and gender expression create a framework for Redress and Reconciliation?

The Two-Spirit perspective is essential to provide important insights into the framework for Reconciliation and has not always been given the space. The NCTR strives to give more opportunities and space for the diverse perspectives that make up all of Canada.

Why NCTR Dialogues?

Like most organizations, the NCTR is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, working remotely, the NCTR is still committed to working toward and supporting dialogue for Reconciliation in Canada.

This pandemic has challenged many, including Indigenous people, to re-think how to connect with others. There are Indigenous-specific posts on social media relating to how spiritual and ceremonial protocols are adapting to this period of physical distancing. Online initiatives like the social distancing powwows allow for cultural and spiritual connection in this temporary normal.

The NCTR would like to contribute to the online discourse by providing the public and educators with important discussions on truth and Reconciliation with Survivors, a discussion very few may be privy to in a pre- or post-pandemic world.

For more information

The series will begin on June 23 and run every couple of weeks until September. The full list of topics and speakers are listed on the NCTR website. Each live event will be one hour, followed by a question-and-answer period. To tune into the live event, visit @nctr.ca on Facebook.

Following the live event, each conversation will be available on the NCTR YouTube channel.

Bios

Dr. Albert Mcleod

Over the past 35 years, well-respected knowledge keeper Albert McLeod has worked tirelessly for the rights of Two-Spirit (2S), lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (2LGBTQ+) people in the local community and across the continent.

McLeod is a status Indian with ancestry from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Métis community of Norway House. Known as a progressive thinker and visionary, McLeod has led the way for rights and recognition of 2S people in North America since 1986. Recognizing the importance of Elder Myra Laramee’s vision of Two-Spirit in 1990, McLeod has worked with LGBTQ Indigenous people across the continent to organize under the name “Two Spirit” to remember the honoured roles of non-binary gender people in pre-contact First Nations, and the important spiritual role they played within their communities. Since then, the movement has grown to involve organizations throughout North America. It has also made an impact on academia that includes research and scholarly books on various aspects of Two-Spirit history, philosophy, and sociology.

Harlan Pruden

Harlan Pruden (First Nation Cree/nēhiyaw) works with and for the Two-Spirit community locally, nationally and internationally. Currently, Harlan is a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia and is an Educator at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control’s Chee Mamuk, an Aboriginal health program. Harlan is also the Managing Editor of the TwoSpiritJournal.com, an interactive multi-platform Two-Spirit media/news site. Before moving to Vancouver from New York City, Harlan was a co-founder and former Director of the NorthEast Two Spirit Society and the principal Two-Spirit consultant to USA’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center. In August 2014, Harlan was appointed to the United States’ Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS where he works to provide advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Health & Human Services and the White House, and in the spring of 2013, Harlan was appointed to be an American representative to the International Indigenous Peoples Working Group on HIV/AIDS. Closer to home, Harlan is a board member of Qmunity, the home for Vancouver’s LGBT, Queer and Two-Spirit community.

Candy Palmater

First nations stand-up-comedian and LGBTQ activist. Host of her national television comedy show ‘The Candy Show’, and participates in the national radio show ‘DNTQ’ (Definitely Not The Opera). Produced her first film, ‘Building Legends: The Mi’Kmaq Canoe Project’ (2011). Recipient of a Bonham Centre Award from the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto (2017).

 

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