OVC Provider Forum Transcript

Responding to Native LGBT/ Two Spirit Community Crime Victims
Harlan Pruden  -  2011/6/8
We need more research on this issue-can you provide some resources we might begin with?
1.  S. RedHawk Love
 Thanks for the information. I am both native and two spirited...it is good to know this is being talked about. It is long overdue.
2.  Harlan Pruden
 Tulsa Two-Spirit SocietyCorey Taber and John Ha wk Cocke, Co-Directors 2531 E 3rd StreetTulsa, OK 74104918-902-7638 or 918-277-1922okienativeboy@yahoo.comhawknesw@yahoo.com www.denvertwospirits.comtulsa Two Spirit Society of Washington, DCMarlon Fixico, Founder2122 Massachusetts Ave NW, #615Washington, DC 20008202-256-7836nativetouchdc@gmail.com Finally, if you email directly at harlan@ne2ss.org, Ill send a suggested reading list. Its a bit on the old side because there has not been anything published recently.
3.  Harlan Pruden
 NorthEast Two-Spirit Socie tyHarlan Pruden, Council Memberco American Indian Community House11 Broadway, 2nd Fl.New York, NY 10004646.351.7360harlan@ne2ss.org Northwest Two-Spirit SocietyRaven Heavyrunner, President10102 8th Ave S N-109Seattle, WA 98168raven_hr@hotmail.com Red Circle ProjectElton Naswood, Program CoordinatorNative American ProgramsAIDS Project Los Angeles3550 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 300Los Angeles, CA 90010213.201.1311enaswood@apla.orgwww.redcircleproject.org Two-Spirit Society of DenverCrisosto Apache and Jenny Davis, Co-DirectorsPO Box 140634Edgewater, CO 80214720.261.1854www.denvertwospirit.com
4.  Harlan Pruden
 Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirit Miko Thomas and Derek Smith, Co-Chairs1800 Market Street, Box 95 San Francisco, CA 94102415.865.5616admin@baaits.orgwebsite: www.baaits.org Montana Two-Spirit SocietySteven Barrios and David HerraPO Box 7514Missoula, MT 59807-7514(406) 829-8075fdh@mtgayhealth.orghttp:mttwospirit.org Nations of the 4 Directions (works with LGBT Natives)Karen Vigneault, Founder4162 Georgian St reetSan Diego, CA 92103kumeyaayindian@hotmail.com619.527.9027http:nationsofthe4directions.com (under construction) NativeOUTLouva Hartwell, DirectorMailbox 150 co IAIA 83 Avan Nu Po RoadSanta Fe, NM 87508602.427.8336lhartwell@nativeout.comwww.nativeout.com
5.  Harlan Pruden
 Indigenous Peoples Task ForceSharon M. Day, Executive Director3019 Minnehaha Avenue S.Minneapolis, MN 55406smarieday@aol.com612-721-0253 Website: www.indigenouspeoplestf.orgIPTF has a two-spirit program, and IPTF provides services via prevention, case management, housing, and testing.
6.  Harlan Pruden
 Here is a list of all the two-spirit organizations in the USA and Canada. These organizations are a point of accessing the community and are excellent resources not only for referrals for your two-spirit clients but for access information the two-spirit community. The first organization listed is the Indigenous Peoples Task Force has a two-spirit program and a domestic violence program the combined programs would be an excellent resource: (I am including their contact info t his organization and all the others.)
7.  Harlan Pruden
 Other (kind of related) resources, the leadership of NE2SS is currently working with Prairielands Addiction Transfer Technology Center (ATTCpl) on the two-spirit curriculum substance abuse providers. We are now working on an 8 hour training based on this curriculum. We are offering this training at three different IHS centers in North and South Dakota this fall. It is our hope that this training is going to be structured so attendees (regardless of their field) will be more culturally competent when working and engaging this community.
8.  Harlan Pruden
 We have also urged the two-spirit organizations to share this report with their local (town, city, county or state) department of health. The report should be used to inform the reader of the topic and to encourage other government entities to draft their own needs assessment for this community.
9.  Harlan Pruden
 NE2SS has encouraged the other two-spirit organizations to use this report when they are writing their future grants. The argument we have suggested they use is: We dont have any local data, however, this is what we know is happening in the State of New York and if it is occurring in the State of New York then chances are the same holds true for their local two-spirit community.
10.  Harlan Pruden
 That being said, here are some resources that may be of some assistance to you. In Dec. 2010, the NYS Department of Health released the first ever statewide needs assessment in the country - Reclaiming Our Voice: Two Spirit Health & Human Service Needs in New York State report. To download a copy of the report, visit either the NYS Department of Healths site or the NorthEast Two-Spirit Societys (NE2SS) site (www.ne2ss.org) This report is the first attempt to determine what is going on in the two-spirit population and provides data on or related to health and human service needs of two-spirit community of New York State.
11.  Harlan Pruden
 Great question S. RedHawk. Research on the two-spirit community is so greatly needed. Resource allocation is based on (non-Native) evidence based practices. Native entities (reservation, urban and rural based); Native serving government entities like Indian Health Services; community based organizations servicing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community conducting research projects; and general population studies, the two-spirit community is rarely thought of or included. As a result, there are few resources allocated to this community. Currently, this is one of the biggest hurdles confronting this community.
Many crimes occur in off-reservation border towns, what are some of the things Native communities can do and tribes can do to prevent crimes and assist victims in border towns where they do not have jurisdiction?
1.  S. RedHawk Love
 I am a professional teaching in higher education on the topic of minorities and justice..this is information I work to include to educate about in general-
2.  Harlan Pruden
 For those two-spirit leaving to live in urban areas (andor boarder) and that experience violence against them organizations like AVP need to be made aware of the unique challenges that confront the two-spirit community and there is a need to develop culturally competent programming for this community.
3.  Harlan Pruden
 That being said, here is my answer to your question. Native communities should work to develop and implement culturally relevant anti-stigma two-spirit campaigns. Additionally, there should be some work on including hate-crimes laws that include two-spirit people. Traditional elders should be asked once again to include two-spirit people within ceremony and for the two-spirit to do the ceremony that they can only do. All of these efforts are to reduce the stigma, alienation and violence for two-spirit individuals.
4.  Harlan Pruden
 These facts were confirmed anecdotally at many of the focus groups. Many two-spirit people choose to leave their family and other social supports and move to urban centers where it is easier to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender identified. This then opens these individuals up to violence because they are LGBT identified. There are organizations like the Anti-Violence Project (www.avp.org) here in NYC that works with LGBT individual who experience violence against them. It should be noted that these organizations are rarely inclusive on two-spirit individuals. However, they do provide excellent services to LGBT individuals.
5.  Harlan Pruden
 This question seems to be a general Native population question, so I am going to tweak it to make it a bit more relevant to the two-spirit community. From what little research there is, many two-spirit individuals either feel threatened or have experienced violence within their community. Her e is some data from the recently released statewide needs assessment (see first question for more details on this report.) When asked the following statement on Security: I feel safe in my community, Two-Spirit individuals compared with the general LGBT respondents were twice as likely to disagree with the statement 22.8 vs. 14.7. Two-spirit individuals compared with the general LGBT respondents were twice as likely to have experienced hate violence 29.30 vs. 12.8.
6.  Elton Naswood
 Additionally, there are not tribal specific laws that protect LGBTTS individuals - it is important to begin to have these discussions with tribal councils, leadership to adopt Hate Crime andor victims laws for tribal communities. most times these issues have to rely on State laws which is good but if tribes had their own laws it would be more beneficial.
7.  Elton Naswood
 I would suggest reviewing the city/state laws that protect LGBT victims of crime for your area - become familar with them and then begin to network with the local organizations and law enforcement agencies.
I understand that the dynamics of domestic violence are pretty much across the board with any victim. However, to provide the best services and education to victims of same sex domestic violence where do I look for the best information to educate myself and others? Also, are there cultural issues to look at if you are addressing Native LGBT Crime Victims?
1.  Harlan Pruden
 Another great question Lisa, Id suggest contacting the Indigenous Peoples Task Force. This agency is one of the best organizations positioned (see the question #1 response) to provide technical to services to providers who are working with the two-spirit community within the DV field. I would also contact that ATTC Prairieland to see if you could tap into their training to better familiarize yourself with the cultural issues of this community. Email me directly at harlan@ne2ss.org request information on this training.
 if you would like to email sartcoor@swcinc.org and get in touch with me I can provide you with resources that the west virginia coalition against domestic violence has created for same sex domestic violence through their LGBTQQI Council. Just another resource :)
People seem to struggle more with two spirit, transgender, or genderqueer people, even other people in the queer community. We can see this in our laws (compare employment discrimination laws based on sexual orientation and gender identity), media, military, and more. What can we do as allies to dispel the fear and ignornace regarding people who break the gender binary?
1.  Harlan Pruden
 Then I would suggest you use this knowledge and our privilege to advocate for change. When sitting in meetings ask yourself does this discussion impact the two-spirit community? If you are organizing a panel discussion use your privilege to request the inclusion of a two-spirit perspective. This list is infiniteI hope this helps. I also encourage and support in becoming an ally to our community. Welcome!
2.  Harlan Pruden
 As an ally, I know I can say and do things precisely because of my privilegeness. I use this privilege to advocate for those folks who arguments may fall on deaf ears. It should be noted that it has taken time and energy to inform myself of issues, the people this issue effects and the how the issue impacts my community. I then advocate for social change. Similarly, I would encourage you to get informed about the two-spirit community: our history, our roles (both traditionally and contemporarily), the issues impacting this community, and how this is impacting the larger community.
3.  Harlan Pruden
 My take on this is if we allow the Federal government control over who is a member of our community and who is not when we are giving up some or our sovereignty as Nations. No other population in the country has to prove their race or ethnicity other than us Native people. It has taken much work on my part to hold this stance and space on the council of the NorthEast Two-Spirit Society. It is a policy of our organization that we will not accept any funding that dictates who we can provide services to and our membership guidelines.
4.  Harlan Pruden
 To be an effective ally, first one has to acknowledge and own their privilege. Take for example; I am a member of a federally recognized reservation. Being a registered member affords me certain rights and privileges that are not extended to non-federally recognized Native people. Ive been in meetings where other federally recognized Natives have said that to non-federally recognized people are not Native people or are second class Native people. I am speaking of members of State recognized Nations or people who claim Native ancestry.
5.  Harlan Pruden
 I like this question thanks for asking it. Allies can play a powerful role in dispelling fear and ignorance within the lager Native and non-Native community. Allies can say and do things that will not draw as much disapproval or distain from their peers. Often, these same peers are more open and willing to listen to what an ally is saying.
Could you please explain the difference/similarities between two spirit and transgender? Also, do two spirited individuals ever identify as transgender or under the transgender umbrella?
1.  Harlan Pruden
 Yes, two-spirit could be included under the term of transgender but many two-spirit choose to claim their two-spirit identity. The notable exception is Navajo AIDS Network and thier transgender program. But then again the Navajos typically dont embrace the term of two-spirit they choose Nadle (that is din for two-spirit). If you directly translate two-spirit into din it means someone who is crazy. Therefore, not embraced by the community.
2.  Harlan Pruden
 Transgender is a political term to organize the gender-non-conforming community. It includes: Male-to-Female, Female-to-Male (the transsexual community), same-gender-loving, sissy-boys, queers, gender-queers, womyn, butches, and many many others. Yes, the two-spirit community does fall under the rubric of transgender umbrella. The termidentity of two-spirit is someone who identifie as LGBT and who is Native. The term encompasses sexual orientation andor gender and a Native identity.
I know that rate of transgender violence specifically sexual violence is very high. Do individuals who are two spirited or LGBT Native Americans also have a higher incidence of violence?
1.  Harlan Pruden
 Yes, here is some data from the recently released statewide needs assessment (see first question for more details on this report.) When asked the following statement on Security: I feel safe in my community, Two-Spirit individuals compared with the general LGBT respondents were twice as likely to disagree with the statement 22.8 vs. 14.7. Two-spirit individuals compared with the general LGBT respondents were twice as likely to have experienced hate violence 29.30 vs. 12.8.
2.  Elton Naswood
 There was a new study that included more specific information on Native Transgender and did discuss your question - Injust at Every Turn A report of National Transgender Discrimiantion Survey it is a good resource to utilize as it has specific data on Native Transgender population. significantly high rates for almost every category.
Can you talk about the barriers that Native LGBT/ Two Spirit community faces when accessing services/reporting crimes..specifically sexual assault?
1.  Harlan Pruden
 Additionally, there was a story from one the participants of the focus groups of who he was a victim of assault and how it went unreported for fear that he would be outed and be forced to leave his community. He felt it as safer to be in the closet and letting crimes go unpunished then having to leave his home.
2.  Harlan Pruden
 Even if I caught a virus or something, I guess its just an inborn distrust of medical care, Id wait until on my deathbed before Id go to a doctor and even then I would just go to the ER. And that's what I'm finding, a lot of the community are doing that, there are not accessing general health care, they're waiting until deathly ill and going to the ER. I think its just a common thread. Others in this and other focus groups echoed his concerns.
3.  Harlan Pruden
 I dont access services, Im bad. I used to. If I were to access any type of services I would have to go back to my reservation, which is six hours away from here. I have since stopped using them because my sister went for a pregnancy test and before she got home, the receptionist had called my mother to congratulate her, that my sister was pregnant. Those are the reservation clinics, you know people...In that scenario, I felt reservation clinic is not safe, any type of reservation clinic is not going to be safe because there is going to be a breach of confidentiality somewhere. I have health insurance at work just so I would have it.
4.  Harlan Pruden
 The two-spirit community faces some unique challenges accessing services. Here is a direct quote from a participant from the focus groups for the statewide needs assessment.
How prominent is domestic violence/ sexual assault in the Native LGBT/ Two Spirit communities?
1.  Harlan Pruden
 Jen, I wish I could answer your question. I am unaware of any data that I could use to reasonably answer your question. The very first question of this session from S. RedHawk Love speaks to the need for more research and data that will lead to the justification for more programs and resource allocation.
There are currently no Tribal Laws and/or policy that distinctly do not protect Native LBGTTS in tribal communities - how can tribal governments and federal governments begin to establish such laws inlcuding Hate Crime Law.
1.  Harlan Pruden
 There are Tribal Laws and/or policy that do protect Native LBGTTS in tribal communities the Ojibwa Nation in Minnesota does have sexual orientation included in its constitution as a protected group. Sharon Day of the Indigenous People Task Force was instrumental in getting the inclusion of this language into the bylaws. Id encourage you to contact her to get more info on how she did this and if there is a possibility of using this inclusion language as a model for other Nations.
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