An English umbrella term that reflects the many words used in different Indigenous languages to affirm the interrelatedness of multiple aspects of identity—including gender, sexuality, community, culture and spirituality. Prior to the imposition of the sex/gender binary by European colonizers, some Indigenous cultures recognized Two Spirit people as respected members of their communities. Two Spirit people were often accorded special status based upon their unique abilities to understand and move between masculine and feminine perspectives, acting as visionaries, healers and medicine people. Some Indigenous people identify as Two Spirit rather than, or in addition to, identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer.

« Back to Glossary Index