OVC Provider Forum Transcript

Serving Two-Spirit/LGBTQ Victims in Tribal Communities
Harlan Pruden, Elton Naswood  -  2016/11/16
https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ovcproviderforum
 
 
What do you recommend we can do to help schools address bullying of students?
 
1.  Elton Naswood
 I think raising the awareness around bullying is important to work with school administrations to develop effective policies to address bullying that is inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation. There are some organizations that can assist like the Trevor Project and It Gets Better campaigns. Also, creating LGBT/2S student support alliances are key – there are some Native schools that have done that – example: Santa Fe Indian School. Also, there is a Native PFLAG organization in Phoenix, AZ that can assist in creating such an organization to involve friends, family and allies.
 
2.  Harlan
 Additionally, Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN) - www.nativeyouthsexualhealth.com is an organization by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice throughout the United States and Canada. NYSHN is the only organization in North America whose staff and advisories are all Indigenous youth under the age of 30, many of them Two-Spirit and otherwise Indigenous LGBT identified. An example of their numerous projects and front line work by and for Two-Spirit youth include this Healthy Sexuality and Fighting Homophobia and Transphobia Native Youth project. This org has help in the founding of GSA's that are 2S inclusive!
 
3.  Harlan
 Here are some (Canadian) resources that are 2S inclusive and address anti-bullying! (British Columbia)The “First Nations’ Perspectives of Gender” lesson plan comes from The Gender Spectrum resource, which was created by the BC Pride Education Network with financial assistance from the BCTF and the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association. The resource is available here: http://pridenet.ca/wp-content/uploads/the-gender-spectrum.pdf An essay that I wrote begins on page 6, and the lesson plan starts on page 54 - http://bctf.ca/SocialJustice.aspx?id=21521&libID=21511 (Alberta) Here is the same essay on page 72 with the worksheet. https://www.teachers.ab.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/ATA/Publications/Research/PD-80-15e PRISM.pdf
 
 
Can you recommend some good training tools to help us build cultural competency among the various organizations we work with? thank you!
 
1.  Harlan
 Training mentioned below: "Two-Spirit Then and Now: Reclaiming Our Place of Honor" enables participants to work more effectively with Two-Spirit people. The workshop provides participants, both Native and non-Native, with an opportunity to look at and discuss how historical trauma led to the dissolution of the role and the displacement of Two-Spirit people from within their Native communities. The connection between the displacement of Two-Spirit people from their heritage, and who routinely experience stigma and discrimination in both Native and mainstream society, is presented and discussed in terms of the impact on their health and mental health risks, health disparities and recovery support needs.
 
2.  Elton Naswood
 Another great resource is ... Tribal Equity Toolkit: Tribal Resolutions and Codes to Support Two Spirit/LGBT Justice in Indian Country. They touch on issues & topics such as - Bias-Motivated (Hate) Crimes; Criminal Offenses with Bias Motive; Prohibiting Specific Actions; Enhanced Penalties Bias-Motivated Crime Reporting and Training. Info found at https://graduate.lclark.edu/programs/indigenous_ways_of_knowing/tribal_equity_toolkit
 
3.  Elton Naswood
 Also, there is a newly created Native LGBT Advisory Council with the Southwest Indigenous Women's Coalition that will be able to provide trainings and technical assistance with professionals that identify from the population. http://www.swiwc.org/lgbtq-community-resources/
 
4.  Harlan
 Sure! I've developed a Two-Spirit curriculum on how to work more effectively with 2S individuals. More details to follow!
 
5.  Elton Naswood
 Additionally, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs Community Action Toolkit for Addressing Intimate Partner Violence Against People of Color Community Action Toolkit for Addressing Intimate Partner Violence Against Transgender People at www.avp.org/about-avp/coalitions-a-collaborations/82-national-coalition-of-anti-violence-programs
 
 
Elton, what advice would you give to someone on how to open up about victimization when they feel a sense of self-blame?
 
1.  Harlan
 The toolkit that I shared explores this conversation within a broader context of colonization. This positioning and attention to the system and systemic approach(s) take the discussion off of the individual - shifting from shame and blame to one of systems. There needs to be more discussions like this if we are move to community healing, for it focuses our attention on the root cause and (colonial) problem!
 
2.  Harlan
 Here's an incredible toolkit that explores the intersection of body and land violences - to help frame this discussion for indigenous/two-spirit lens! http://landbodydefense.org/uploads/files/Violence on the Land and Body Report and Toolkit?.pdf
 
3.  Elton Naswood
 This can be a very sensitive issue. As an advocate and not necessarily as clinician, I would suggest that it is always important to build trust to support the individual. Often times, it takes time for the victimization to be acknowledge and the self-blame can fester. However, the concept of healing and overcoming the trauma should be addressed. I would also offer seeking professional assistance from trusted and allied individuals that you can refer the person too so they are not re-victimized.
 
 
Hi everyone. Welcome to the discussion.
 
 
Hi everyone! Harlan here!
 
1.  Harlan
 Harlan is a co-founder and former Director of the NorthEast Two Spirit Society and works with the Two-Spirit community locally, nationally and internationally. Harlan serves as the principal Two-Spirit consultant to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center. In August 2014, Harlan was appointed to the 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. In the spring of 2013, Harlan was appointed to the International Indigenous Peoples Working Group on HIV/AIDS.
 
2.  Harlan
 Here's my formal bio: Harlan Pruden (First Nation Cree/nēhiyaw) whose mother was a member of the Beaver Lake Reserve and father from the Saddle Lake Reserve and a member of the Whitefish Lake Band #128 - Treaty 7. Harlan is also ayahkwęw (Two-Spirit in Cree). Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia's Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program and is also the Managing Editor of TwoSpiritJournal.com, an interactive multi-platform Two-Spirit media/news site.
 
 
Hi Elton! Can you please suggest resources for a high school based to spirit group? Are you aware of any existing curriculsfor this age group?
 
1.  Harlan
 Here are some (Canadian) resources to begin (and support) work in high schools! (British Columbia)The “First Nations’ Perspectives of Gender” lesson plan comes from The Gender Spectrum resource, which was created by the BC Pride Education Network with financial assistance from the BCTF and the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association. The resource is available here: http://pridenet.ca/wp-content/uploads/the-gender-spectrum.pdf An essay that I wrote begins on page 6, and the lesson plan starts on page 54 - http://bctf.ca/SocialJustice.aspx?id=21521&libID=21511 (Alberta) Here is the same essay on page 72 with the worksheet. https://www.teachers.ab.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/ATA/Publications/Research/PD-80-15e PRISM.pdf
 
2.  Elton Naswood
 There is a new media website by the Northwest Portland Indian Health Board - Healthy Native Youth - that has several youth oriented curriculum. http://www.healthynativeyouth.org/
 
3.  Harlan
 Here is a list of Two-Spirit webinars for you to use also! http://www.samhsa.gov/tribal-ttac/resources/webinars/two-spirit
 
4.  Harlan
 "Two-Spirit Then and Now: Reclaiming Our Place of Honor" enables participants who are working as behavioral health, mental health, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS care providers to work more effectively with Two-Spirit people. The workshop provides participants, both Native and non-Native, with an opportunity to look at and discuss how historical trauma led to the dissolution of the role and the displacement of Two-Spirit people from within their Native communities. The connection between the displacement of Two-Spirit people from their heritage, and who routinely experience stigma and discrimination in both Native and mainstream society, is presented and discussed in terms of the impact on their health and mental health risks, health disparities and recovery support needs.
 
 
We know that many crimes go unreported, particularly if members of the community don't feel accepted, how can we do a better job to make all victims feel safe to report?
 
1.  Elton Naswood
 Some more issues to assist include: Educate Services and Law Enforcement of Special Issues, i.e. same partner domestic violence; Reassess Protective Protocols, i.e. shelters, jails, hospitals, services; Become knowledgable in LGBT State and Federal Laws - as most times Tribes don't have any specific laws hence the need to create Tribal ordinances and/or policies to protect Native LGBT/Two Spirit people.
 
2.  Harlan
 I think the best way is thru education. In 2014, I was invited to DOJ's Four Corners Conference to do a 2S training for those working in criminal justice system. This was only an introduction to this topic. This needs and requires more attention!
 
3.  Elton Naswood
 Working with the local and tribal law enforcement is key as well as other victim service agencies and medical providers. Requesting to implement LGBT/2S trainings for Law enforcement can be very effective particularly on reservations. Also, to have designated ally professionals identified and assisting to the reporting can make a victim feel safe.
 
 
Two-Spirit lens - my comments are all narrowly focused on Two-Spirit individuals and communities.
 
1.  Harlan
 PLEASE READ FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP TO THE POST.
 
2.  Harlan
 As a result this positioning/framing the Two-Spirit becomes a Native identify. When working with Native communities and people, I give little attention or discussion to non-Native concepts, identities and ideas of LGBTQ rather the focus is on who were we (Two-Spirit) in pre-contact settings and the application for this experience, history and teachings for our Two-Spirit and Native people of today. At past Two-Spirit trainings for Native community members, one of the consistence comments I hear from participants is that they thought they were coming to a 'gay' training but what they came to was a Indian/Native training.
 
3.  Harlan
 More specifically, non-Native LGBT activists and community organizers are 'creating' equality, based on a social justice, civil rights and/or human rights framework list a few; while on the other hand, the Two-Spirit community is working to restore and reclaim our rightful place of honor within our respective Nations. Because of the this subtle yet huge difference, our discussion(s) and organizing efforts are completely different from the dominant (non-Native) LGBTQ movement, for the Two-Spirit community we a not creating anything new, but call forth discussions of remembering, reclaiming and restoring this almost lost history and experience of our Two-Spirit people.
 
4.  Harlan
 Many Non-Native LGBT/Queer activists and community organizers engaged in achieving equality often overlook or refuse to acknowledge that there was a time when people on this land, who engaged in same-sex (and sexual) relationships, were accepted, honored and had full equality and citizenship in their respective Nations.
 
5.  Harlan
 LGBTQ are western constructs and concepts. The concept and term of Two-Spirit predates these western ways, narrative and history. Additionally, the term Two-Spirit does not make sense unless it is contextualized and situated within a Native framework, community and setting, and, Two-Spirit is going to mean something different depending what (Native) Nation the individual is a member of or from. Another major distinctions is the work of the Two-Spirit community, that is firmly rooted within an Indigenous/decolonization framework rather than a non-Native lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer framework.
 
 
Some great resources for LGBT Victimization include: National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs 24-Hour Hotline 212-714-1141 www.avp.org GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project 24-Hour DV Hotline: 800-832-1901 Sexual Assault Help Line: 617-779-2179 www.glbtqdvp.org National Indigenous Women's Resource Center www.niwrc.org Southwest Center for Law and Policy http://www.swclap.org Tribal Law and Policy Institute www.tlpi.org Southwest Indigenous Women's Coalition www.swiwc.org
 
 
A great conference to attend is the 15th Annual Indian Nations Conference Justice for Victims of Crime on December 8-10, 2016 in California. There will be an all-day Pre-Conference Institute on December 7, 2016. "Victimization Issues within the Native Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, and Two Spirit Community" - This pre-conference is designed for services providers to be more responsive and inclusive of providing effective tribal victim services to Native Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender (LGBT) and Two Spirit (2S) individuals. This session will include presentations and small group activities on LGBT/2S victim violence, policy development and change, best practices and LGBT/2S victim resources. Check the conference website for more information at www.ovcinc.org
 
 
Broad TWO-SPIRIT tech. assit is available through the Tribal TTA Center for all federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. There are several types of Broad TTA. http://www.samhsa.gov/tribal-ttac/training-technical-assistance/broad
 
1.  Harlan
 The Tribal TTA Center conducts monthly learning communities that enable audiences throughout Indian Country to come together virtually to discuss special topics. These virtual meetings provide participants with the opportunity to talk, teach, share materials, and inspire each other. There are currently three ongoing learning communities for the Broad TTA audience: Two-Spirit - American Indian and Alaska Native Two-Spirit tribal members face challenges with efforts related to healthcare, confidentiality issues, and access to resources. This learning community educates about issues and challenges, and explores strengths and resources available for Two-Spirit tribal members and organizations who serve them.
 
2.  Harlan
 Technical Assistance Broad TA is conducted via site visits, teleconferences, email, and webinars. To request TTA services, tribal communities can contact the Center. Online: Submit an online request form. Phone: 240-650-0257 Email: TA-Request@tribaltechllc.com
 
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