The second edition of the groundbreaking Tribal Equity Toolkit was released November 21st 2013 at the Two Spirit Justice Summit! This toolkit is a set of model Tribal codes and resolutions for Tribal Governments which work to protect all Tribal citizens and families. It is the first of its kind in the nation and covers a variety of aspects of life.
As sovereign nations, tribal governments maintain the power to determine their own governance structures, pass laws, and enforce laws through police departments and tribal courts. Tribal governments provide multiple programs and services. They also build and maintain a variety of infrastructure. This places Tribal governments in a position to publicly affirm the role and value of Two Spirit people within the context of tribal sovereignty. Expanded sections of the Tribal Equity Toolkit 2.0 include: Education, Health Care, Jury Service, Law Enforcement and Corrections and Identity Documents and Name Changes.
From the IWOK website:
“The work of decolonization can’t thoroughly happen without also addressing issues of Two Spirit & LGBT Justice. Colonization taught Tribal communities a great deal about homophobia and transphobia, as we work to consciously reclaim and return to our traditions we must also reexamine how the effects of colonization remain enshrined in Tribal Policy, Law and Structure. For Tribal Nations, LGBT Equality and Decolonization are inextricably linked; one cannot be truly be achieved without the other.”
This year a coalition of Se-ah-dom Edmo of Indigenous Ways of Knowing (IWOK), Western States Center (WSC), and Basic Rights Oregon’s Racial Justice and Alliance Building Program presented findings from interviews about perceptions of Two Spirit people to hundreds of Tribal leaders to move them in support of Two Spirit families within their own communities at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians conference in mid-September of 2013.
After successfully increasing the number of Tribal leaders taking a public stand to include Two Spirit people from 60 to 100 leaders, Two Spirit activists and community members gathered to celebrate the revised toolkit and build a shared understanding of Two Spirit inclusion. The Two Spirit Justice Summit is the culmination of the Toolkit 2.0’s release and the continuation strategic community planning.
Click here to download a new copy of the Toolkit or for more information about the Two Spirit Justice Summit.