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"Two-Spirit People" Explores Native American History of Gender, Sexuality  

November 6, 2013

Two SpiritCome learn about the indigenous peoples of North America and their history of sex, gender and sexuality through dance and costume design at our “Two-Spirit People” and “The Spirit of the Drum” events, held at the URBN Annex Black Box Theater (3401 Filbert St., Philadelphia), Nov. 12, 2013, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event features guest lectures from Sheldon Raymore of the Cheyenne River Sioux and Harlan Pruden of the First Nations Natimiyininiwak/Cree on the nearly lost Native American institution of “Two-Spirit” (lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans-gender Native peoples) and the importance of the drum in Native cultures.

The first half of the event, “Two-Spirit People: Sex, Gender and Sexuality, Then and Now,” will explore the significantly different perspectives of the Indigenous peoples of North America about sex, gender and sexuality compared to those imported from Western Europe and the colonization process that resulted in misrepresented or suppressed cultural traditions, including is what is referred to as “Two-Spirit,” First Nations and Native American tribe members that fulfilled one of many mixed gender roles.   

The second half of the event, “The Spirit of the Drum: Experiencing the Power of the Pow-Wows,” will instruct attendees on the basics of pow-wows and the importance of drums and drumming in Native culture. This interactive workshop will include pow-wow etiquette and explanations of each major dance style and the regalia associated with it. Participants will also learn two dances: a Round Dance, a universal social dance for most Native gatherings, as well as basic inter-tribal dance, that can be used at any pow-wow.

Two Spirit People is sponsored by the Drexel LGBTQA Faculty and Professional Staff Group, The Student Center for Inclusion & Culture, The Commuter & Transfer Student Engagement and Westphal College, Please RSVP to Dr. Joseph H. Hancock II at, or if you have a disability and need an accommodation, contact the Office of Disability Resources (ODR) at 215.895.1401 or