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O:se Kenhionhata:tie
A rainbow flag with two feathers overs the opening of a painted tipi depicting a turtual with many hand prints. a sun, fish and strawberries.


O:se Kenhionhata:tie

O:se Kenhionhata:tie is a name meaning Willow River in Kenien’keha. We began as a small reclamation of space by Amy Smoke, Bangishimo and Terre Chartrand in Willow River Park (Victoria Park) June 2020. With the raising of the tipi, many urban youth arrived seeking safe space to be Indigenous, and many identified as Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+. The space was held for 122 days before moving on to other locations. In that time, many Elders came and ceremonies were hosted in hopes of bringing back connection to culture for those who don't have that access.

Two people adjust the canvas of the colourfull tipi over its supports as its put up.

Who Are We

A large group of people sitting on chairs in a circle around a fire. Drum sit around the fire and a colourful tipi in the background.

We are a group of Two-Spirit, IndigiQueer, Queer/Trans Indigenous people and LGBTQ+ settler accomplices gathering in the Great Peace to celebrate, learn and thrive in our cultures. We represent several Nations living within both Dish With One Spoon and Two Row Wampums.

O:se Kenhionhata:tie has expanded far beyond its roots as a reclamation and grown to include many projects of varied scope.

The #LandBack Movement

Starting in 2018, Land Back has meant to embody a return to traditional nationhood, including a return of land, ownership, culture, language, ceremony, relationships, sovereignty, housing, human rights and more. This movement has taken on its own form since its inception, becoming a hashtag, a slogan and a political movement across the world. It represents a need to liberate ourselves from colonization and white supremacy, to create a better way of being with our world and our neighbours. No it doesn't mean you have to move.

A young child in a black shirt sits cross legged ith fist in the air, A baner and Six Nations flags waves in the background. A tipi and tents are in the back distance.

Two-Spirit and IndigiQueer

A mother and child stand in front of a mic dressed in rainbows. People also dressed in rainbows stand behind them.

Many Indigenous Nations did not follow binary  gender norms until  colonization took root. Nations typically had multiple genders, relationship structures and roles that they all played within the community and have their own names for people that fall into those roles. 

The term Two-Spirit came about in 1990 at the Third Annual Inter-tribal Native American, First Nations, Gay and Lesbian American Conference in Winnipeg. It is an umbrella term used by many Indigenous people of many Nations to express their identity and how it intertwines with their culture. It can encompass gender and sexuality but is specifically meant for use of Indigenous individuals.

IndigiQueer is another term that has popped up more recently.  It was coined by TJ Cuthand to express a more modern idea and non binary terminoligy for the interconectivity of culture and sexual and gender identity. 

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