Two-Spirit (also two spirit or, occasionally, twospirited ) is a modern, pan-Indian , umbrella term used by Some indigenous North Americans to describe some people In Their communities Who Fulfill a traditional third-gender (or other gender-variant ) role in their cultures.    While most people mistakenly associate with ” LGBT Native”, the term and identity of two-spirit “does not make sense” unless it is contextualized within a Native American or First Nationsframework and traditional cultural understanding.    The term was adopted by consensus in 1990 at an Indigenous lesbian and gay international gathering to encourage the replacement of the outdated, and moreover, anthropological term berdache.    
“Two Spirit” is not interchangeable with “Native American LGBT” or “Gay Indian”;  This title differs from most western, mainstream definitions of sexuality and gender identity in which it is not so much about which one is sexually interested in, or how one personally identifies; rather, it is a sacred, spiritual and ceremonial role that is recognized and confirmed by the Elders of the Two Spirit’s ceremonial community.   While the term Some-have found a Useful tool for organizing intertribal, not all Native cultures conceptualize gender or sexuality this way, and MOST tribes use names In Their Own languages.   While pan-Indianterms are not necessarily appropriate, the term 
Third and fourth gender roles traditionally embodied by two-spirit people include performing work and wearing clothing associated with Both men and women . Not all tribes / nations have rigid gender roles , but, among those that do, the most usual spectrum that has been documented is that of four genders: feminine woman, masculine woman, feminine man, masculine man. 
Definition and societal role in indigenous communities
‘The elders will tell you the difference between a gay Indian and a Two-Spirit,’ [Joey Criddle] said, underscoring the idea that simply being gay and Indian does not make someone a Two-Spirit. 
Uncertainly, to the future of the world, to the future of the natural world, and to the emergence of native peoples. These writings have been published in the perspective of the authors who were mostly white men. 
Historically, the presence of male-bodied two-spirits “was a fundamental institution among most tribal peoples”, according to Brian Gilley  and, according to non-Native anthropologist Will Roscoe , both male and female-bodied two-spirits have been documented “in over 130 North American tribes, in every region of the continent”.  However, Ojibwe journalist Mary Annette Pember argues that this depiction threatens to homogenize various Indigenous cultures, painting over them with an overly broad brush, which causes the disappearance of “distinct cultural and language differences. . 
According to German anthropologist Sabine Lang, cross dressing of two people is not always an indicator of gender identity. Lang believes “the mother fact that a male wears women’s clothing does not say something about his role behavior, his gender status, or even his choice of partner …” 
Male-bodied two spirit people, regardless of gender identification, can be used as male-only sweatshirt lodge ceremonies.  However, they may also take on “feminine” activities such as cooking and other domestic responsibilities.  According to Lang, women are assigned to birth with two sexual relations or marriages with only females. 
The increasing visibility of the two-mindedness concept in mainstream culture has been seen as both of the consequences of misunderstanding, as the spread of misinformation on the cultures of Indigenous people, pan-Indianism, and cultural appropriation of Indigenous identities and ceremonial ways among non-native people who do not understand that two spirit is specifically Native American and First Nations cultural identity, not to be taken up by non-native.  
These fates of simplified black-and-white depictions of Indigenous culture and history of indiscriminate appropriation of Native peoples. Although the current is one of them, it is certainly useful to help people in the process of self-sufficiency.
My concern is not so much about the social and economic aspects of social criticism, it is that of a wishful thinking, good intentions, and a suspicion of white, entitled appropriation. 
For the first nations of the world, they have been impacted by the Residential Schools , and other Indigenous communities who have experienced severe cultural damage, fragmented, or even lost.  In these cases there are serious challenges to remembering and reviving their older traditional ways, and to overcoming the homophobia and other learned prejudices of forced assimilation. 
When Indigenous people from communities are less-accepted by two spirits have sought community among non-Native LGBT communities, however, the tendency for non-natives to tokenize they’re just another tacked on initial rather than fully included. 
The term two-spirited was chosen to be different, interlocking oppressions as queer Aboriginal people. When non-Aboriginal people decides to “take up” the term “two-spirit”, it detracts from its original meaning and diffuses its power to a label of resistance for Aboriginal people. Already there is so much of First Nations culture that has been exploited and appropriated in this country; must we also be targeted for mainstream appropriation and consumption?
Two-spirited is a reclaimed term designed by Aboriginals to define our unique cultural context, histories, and legacy. When people do not see the harm in “sharing” the term,
In academia, there has been a move to “queer the analytics of settler colonialism” and a “twospirit” criticism as part of the general field of queer studies .   However, much of this academic analysis and publishing is not based in mainstream indigenous knowledge , but in the more mainstream, non-native perspectives of the broader LGBT communities, so most of the cultural misunderstandings tend to be found in the past writing of the non-Native anthropologists and “explorers”.  Claiming a viewpoint of “postidentity” analysis, supporters of ” queer of color criticism”Aim to examine settler colonialism and the Ongoing Genocide of Native peoples while” queering Native Studies. ”  HOWEVER, Indigenous identity is Predominantly cultural, Rather Than a racial classification.  It is based is membership in a Particular community, cultural fluency, citizenship, and Native American and First Nationspeople may be considered themselves to be ” people of color .” 
With over 500 surviving Native American cultures, attitudes about sex and gender can be very diverse. Even with the modern adoption of pan-Indian terms like two-spirit, and the creation of a modern pan-Indian community around this naming, not all cultures will perceive two-spirits the same way, or welcome to pan-Indian term to replace the terms already in use by their cultures.  Additional, not all contemporary Indigenous communities are supportive of their gender-variant and non-heterosexual people now. In these communities, those looking for two-minded community oppression and rejection.  While existing terminology in many nations, these are some of the most important examples of variance in terms of sexual orientation.   Among the Indigenous communities that traditionally have roles for two-spirit people.  
- Cree : Napêw iskwêwisêhot , “A man who dresses a woman.” 
- Cree : Iskwêw ka napêwayat , “A woman who dresses as a man.” 
- Cree : ayahkwew , “A man dressed / living / accepted as a woman;” possibly not a respectful term; Others have suggested it is a third gender designation, applied to both women and men. 
- Cree : Înahpîkasoht , “A woman dressed / living / accepted as a man;” also given as “someone who fights everyone to prove they are the toughest.” 
- Cree : iskwêhkân , “One who acts / lives as a woman.” 
- Cree : napêhkân , “One who acts / lives as a man.” 
- Lakota : Wíŋkte is the contraction of an older Lakota word, Winyanktehca , meaning “wants to be like a woman.”  Winkte are a social category in historical Lakota Culture , of male-bodied people Who adopt the clothing, work, and mannerisms That Lakota Culture Consider usually feminine . In contemporary Lakota culture, the term is more commonly associated with simply being gay. Both Historically and in modern culture, usually winkte are homosexual , though They May or May not Consider Themselves share of the more mainstream LGBT communities. Some winkteparticipate in the pan-indian Two Spirit community.  While historical accounts of Their status Vary Widely, Most accounts see the winkte as regular members of the community, and not in Any Way for Marginalized Their status. Other accounts hold the winkte as sacred, occupying a liminal , third gender role in the culture and born to fulfill ceremonial roles that can not be filled by either men or women.  In contemporary Lakota communities, attitudes towards the winkte vary from acceptance to homophobic.  
- Navajo : Nádleeh (also given as nddleehì ) , “One who is transformed” or “one who changes.”    In traditional Navajo culture, these are male-bodied individuals described by those in their communities as “male effeminate”, or as “half-woman, half-man”.  A 2009 documentary about the tragic murder of nádleeh Fred Martinez, entitled, Two Spirits , contributed to awareness of these terms and cultures. 
- Ojibwe : Ikwekaazo , “Men who want to function as women …” 
- Ojibwe : Ininiikaazo , “Women who functioned as men … one who endeavors to be like a man.” 
[In Ojibwe cultures] Sex usually determined one’s gender, and therefore one’s work, but the Ojibwe accepted variation. Men who have a thing to do with women have been called ikwekaazo , meaning ‘one who endeavors to be like a woman.’ Women who have been called ininiikaazo , meaning, ‘one who endeavors to be like a man.’ The French called these people berdaches . Ikwekaazo and ininiikaazo could take care of their own sex. Their mates were not considered ikwekaazo or ininiikaazo , however, because their function in society was still in keeping with their sex. If widowed, the spouse of an ikwekaazo or ininiikaazocould remarry someone of the opposite sex or another ikwekaazo or ininiikaazo . The ikwekaazowag worked and dressed like women. The ininiikaazowag worked and dressed like men. Both were considered spiritually, and they were always honored, especially during ceremonies. 
Before the late twentieth-century non-native (ie non- Native American / Canadian ) anthropologists used the generic term berdache / b ər of æ ʃ / to Identify an indigenous individual fulfilling one of many mixed gender roles In Their tribe, purpose that term has now fallen out of favor. Anthropologists primarily used to identify feminine Native men. Its etymology , HOWEVER, HAS Meant That It is now regarded outdated and Potentially offensive: it derived from the French bardash (English equivalent: ” bardash “) meaning “passive homosexual”, “catamite ”  or even” male prostitute ” Bardache , in turn, derived from the Persian برده barda meaning” captive “,” prisoner of war “,” slave “.     Spanish explorers who encountered two spirits among the Chumash people called them ” joyas “, the Spanish for “jewels”. 
Use of the anthropological term berdache HAS-been now Replaced by the self-chosen two spirits, qui, in 1990. Gained Widespread popularity During the third annual intertribal Native American / First Nations gay and lesbian conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba .  The decision to adopt this new, pan-Indian term was deliberate, with a clear intent to distance themselves from non-Native gays and lesbians,  and non-native terminology like berdache , “gay”, “lesbian”, and “trans”.   Cameron writes, “The term two-spirit is thus an Aboriginal-specific term of resistance to colonization and non-transferable to other cultures.” Aboriginals’ desire to distance themselves from the mainstream queer community.  Lang explains that for Aboriginal people, their sexual orientation or gender identity is secondary to their ethnic identity. She states, “at the core of contemporary two-spirit identities is ethnicity, an awareness of being a Native American member of the group”. 
Among the goals of two societies are spirit support group ; outreach , education, and activism ; revival of their Indigenous cultural traditions, including preserving the old languages, skills and dances;  and otherwise working towards social change . 
Some two-spirit societies (past and present) include: 2Spirits of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario ; the Wabanaki Two Spirit Alliance in Nova Scotia; the American Indian Two-Spirits Bay Area (1998 est.) in San Francisco, California ; Oklahoma Central Two Spirit Natives in Oklahoma City ; the East Coast Two Spirit Society and the NorthEast Two-Spirit Society in New York City ; Idaho Two-Spirit Society; the Indiana Two-Spirit Society in Bloomington ; Minnesota Two Spirits; Montana Two-Spirit Society in Browning ; the Northwest Two-Spirit Society in Seattle, Washington ; the Ohio Valley Two Spirit Society of Ohio, Indiana , Kentucky , and Southern Illinois ;   the Portland Two Spirit Society (est. May 2012) in Portland, Oregon ;  the Regina Two-Spirited Society in Regina, Saskatchewan ; Texas Two Spirit Society in Dallas ; the Tulsa Two-Spirit Society in Tulsa, Oklahoma ; the Two-Spirit Society of Denver in Denver, Colorado ; and the Wichita Two-Spirit Society in Wichita, Kansas .    
Historical and anthropological accounts
Don Pedro Fages was third in command of the 1769-70 Spanish Portolà expedition , the first European land survey of the US state of California. At least three diaries were kept during the expedition, but Fages wrote his account later, in 1775. Fages gave more descriptive details about the native Californians than any of the others, and he reported the presence of homosexuality in the native culture. The English translation reads:
These are some of the most important things in the world, and they are observed in the clothing, clothing and character of women – there being two or three such in each village – as they are sodomites by profession …. They are called joyas , and are held in great esteem. 
Although two spirits have been respected in the tribes, the two spirit is not beyond being reproached by traditional law, even killed for bad deeds. In the Mojave tribe, for instance, two minds frequently become medicine persons, and all who deal with the supernatural, are at risk of suspicion of witchcraft , notable in cases of failed harvest or death. There have been instances of murder in these cases (such as in the case of the female-bodied two spirit named Sahaykwisā).  Another instance in the late 1840s was a Crow male-bodied two spirit who was caught, possibly raiding horses, by the Lakota and was killed. 
Lang and Jacobs write that historically among Apache , Lipan , Chiricahua , Mescalero , and Southern Dilzhe’e have alternative gender identities.   One tribe in particular, the Eyak , has a single report from 1938 that they did not have an alternative gender and they were in such low esteem, that this feeling is the result of acculturation or not is unknown . 
Among the Iroquois , there is a single report from Bacqueville of the Potherie in his book published in 1722, History of North America , which indicates that an alternative gender identity exists among them. 
Many, if not all, have been influenced by European homophobia and misogyny .      Some sources have reported that the Aztecs and Incas had laws over such individuals,   though there are some authors who felt that this was exaggerated or the result of acculturation, because all of the documents indicate this is post-conquest and any that has been destroyed by the Spanish .   The belief that these laws existed, at least for the Aztecs, comes from the Florentine Codex, and that evidence exists that most peoples of the world, but the Spaniards destroyed most of them in their attempt to eradicate ancient beliefs.  Nowadays, some Zapotec natives from Mexico are born as male, but later cross dresses. Such people are known as muxe . 
The 2009 documentary film  Two Spirits , directed by Lydia Nibley, tells the story of the hate-murder of 16-year-old Navajo Fred Martinez. In the film, Nibley “affirms Martinez ‘Navajo sense of being a two spirit’ effeminate male ‘, or nádleeh .”  : 168 Martinez ‘mother defined nadleeh as’ half woman, half man’.  : 169
The film Two Spirits , shown on Independent Lens in 2011, and winner of the annual Audience Award for that year, is about two-spirit people, particularly Fred Martinez, who was murdered at age 16 for identification as a two-spirit.  
In 2012, in the Legacy Walk , an outdoor public display in Chicago, Illinois that celebrates LGBT history and people. 
Self-identified two spirits
A traditional two spirit must be recognized as such by the Elders of their Indigenous community.   Inclusion in this list is not an indication of whether or not that is the case.
- Alec Butler ( Métis ) 
- Chrystos ( Menominee ) 
- Raven Davis ( Ojibwe ) 
- Kent Monkman ( Cree ) 
- Harlan Pruden ( Cree ) 
- Massey Whiteknife ( Cree ) 
- Richard LaFortune ( Yupik ) 
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Estrada, Gabriel (2011). ” Two Spirits , Nádleeh , and LGBTQ2 Navajo Gaze” (PDF) . American Indian Culture and Research Journal . 35(4): 167-190. doi : 10.17953 / aicr.35.4.x500172017344j30 .
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e “A Spirit of Belonging, Inside and Out”. The New York Times. 8 Oct 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
‘The elders will tell you the difference between a gay Indian and a Two-Spirit,’ [Criddle] said, underscoring the idea that simply being gay and Indian does not make someone a Two-Spirit.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Pruden, Harlan; Edmo, Se-ah-dom (2016). “Two-Spirit People: Sex, Gender & Sexuality in Historic and Contemporary Native America” (PDF) . National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center .
- ^ Jump up to:a b c “A Spirit of Belonging, Inside and Out” . The New York Times. Oct 8, 2006 . Retrieved 28 July 2016 .
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i Vowel, Chelsea (2016). “All My Queer Relations – Language, Culture, and Two-Spirit Identity”. Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada . Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Highwater Press. ISBN 978-1553796800 .
- ^ Jump up to:a b c ” Two Spirit 101 ” at NativeOut : “The Two Spirit was adopted in 1990 at an Indigenous lesbian and gay international gathering to encourage the replacement of the term berdache, which means, ‘passive partner in sodomy , boy prostitute. ‘”Accessed 23 Sep 2015
- ^ Jump up to:a b Pember, Mary Annette (Oct 13, 2016). ” ‘ Two Spirit’ Far Tradition From Ubiquitous Among Tribes” . Rewire . Retrieved Oct 17, 2016 .
Non-Native anthropologist Will Roscoe gets much of the public credit for coining the term two spirit. However, according to Kristopher Kohl Miner of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Dr. Wesley Thomas of the Dine Gold Navajo Tribe also contributed to its creation. (Thomas is a professor in the School of Dine and Law Studies.)
- Jump up^ Medicine, Beatrice (August 2002). “Directions in Gender Research in American Indian Societies: Two Spirits and Other Categories” . Online Readings in Psychology and Culture . International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology. 3 (1): 7. doi : 10.9707 / 2307-0919.1024 . ISSN 2307-0919 . Archived from the original on 2012-12-08 . Retrieved 2016-06-25 .
At the Wenner Chicago, May, 1994 … The American Indian and Alaska Native American males agreed to use the term “Two Spirit” to replace the controversial “berdache” term. The stated objective is to purge the older term from the anthropological literature. Unfortunately, the term “berdache” has also been incorporated into the psychology and women’s domain studies, so the task for the affected group is very wide.
- Jump up^ “TwoSpiritualTerms in Tribal Languages” atNativeOut. Accessed 23 Sep 2015
- Jump up^ Pember, Mary Annette (Oct 13, 2016). ” ‘ Two Spirit’ Far Tradition From Ubiquitous Among Tribes” . Rewire . Retrieved Oct 17, 2016 .
Uncertainly, to the future of the world, to the future of the natural world, and to the emergence of native peoples. These writings have been published in the perspective of the authors who were mostly white men.
- Jump up^ Gilley, Brian Joseph (2006: 8). Becoming Two-Spirit: Gay Identity and Social Acceptance in Indian Country. ISBN 0-8032-7126-3.
- Jump up^ Roscoe, Will (1991). The Zuni Man-Woman,p.5. ISBN 0-8263-1253-5.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i Pember, Mary Annette (Oct 13, 2016). ” ‘ Two Spirit’ Far Tradition From Ubiquitous Among Tribes” . Rewire . Retrieved Oct 17,2016 .
- Jump up^ (Lang, 62)
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- ^ Jump up to:a b Smith, Andrea. “Queer Theory and Native Studies: The Heteronormativity of Settler Colonialism.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 16.1-2 (2010): 41-68. Web.
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- Jump up^ Note: There is no consensus, even among reporting elders and language workers, about all of these terms and how they are applied. See Vowel 2016, p.109 and Druke 2014.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d Medicine, Beatrice (2002). “Directions in Gender Research in American Indian Societies: Two Spirits and Other Categories by Beatrice Medicine” . Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (Unit 3, Chapter 2). WJ Lonner, DL Dinnel, SA Hayes, & DN Sattler (Eds.) . Center for Cross-Cultural Research, Western Washington University. Archived from the original on 2003-03-30 . Retrieved 2015-07-07 .
- Jump up^ Druke, Galen (27 June 2014). “Native American ‘Two-Spirit People’ Serve Unique Roles Within Their Communities – One ‘Winkte’ Talks About Role Of LGBT People In Lakota Culture”. Wisconsin Public Radio. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- Jump up^ Frank Johnson Newcomb (1980-06). Hosteen Klah: Navaho Medicine Man and Sand Painter. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-1008-2.
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- Jump up^ Jacobs, S .; Thomas, W .; Lang, S. (Eds.):Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality, page 4. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997.
- Jump up^ Roscoe, W .:Changing ones: Third and fourth genders in native North America, page 7. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.
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- Jump up^ de Vries, Kylan Mattias (2009). “Berdache (Two-Spirit)”. In O’Brien, Jodi. Encyclopedia of gender and society . Los Angeles: SAGE. p. 64. ISBN 9781412909167 . Retrieved March 6, 2015 .
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- Jump up^ Lang, S .:Men as women, women as men: Changing gender in Native American cultures,page XIII. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1998.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Lipshultz, Hanna (2007). “Berdach to Two-Spirit: The Revival of Native American Traditions” (PDF) . Discoveries . Ithaca: John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines (8): 31-32 . Retrieved 2016-07-18 .
- Jump up^ Alpert, Emily (December 5, 2004). “Rainbow and Red: Queer American Indians from New York to San Francisco are showing both their spirits” . In the Fray . New Hyde Park: In the Fray, Inc . Retrieved 2016-04-10 .
- Jump up^ Thomas, Wesley K. (June 26, 2006). “Welcome!” . Ohio Valley Two-Spirit Society (OVTSS) . Retrieved 2016-07-18 .
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- Jump up^ Rook, Erin (September 19, 2012). “Portland Two Spirit Society: Finding a Family and Connecting to History in Shared Identities” . PQ . Brilliant Media . Retrieved 2016-07-17 .
- Jump up^ “Two-Spirit Leaders Call on Washington to Include Native Women in Re-Authorization of VAWA” . Indian Country Today Media Network . December 18, 2012 . Retrieved 2016-07-18 .
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- Jump up^ Roscoe, W. (1998), pp. 250-251n.43. (vol 3, p 41)
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- Jump up^ “Two Spirits (2009)” . IMDb . 21 June 2009 . Retrieved 7 June 2015 .
- Jump up^ Nibley, Lydia (2011-06-14). “Two Spirits | Native American Gender Diversity | Independent Lens” . PBS . Retrieved 2017-01-26 .
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- Jump up^ “Aboriginal music host awards host two-spirited performer”. CBC News, September 11, 2014.
- Jump up^ Jacobs, Sue-Ellen; Thomas, Wesley; Lang, Sabine (1997-01-01). Two Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality . University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252066450 . OCLC 421792266 .