For the past 20 years, November has been celebrated as Native American Heritage Month in the U.S.—embedding the Thanksgiving holiday in a context that highlights and honors the life and cultural heritage of the Indigenous people and First Nations of this land. At Intersections International, the global social justice ministry of The Collegiate Church of New York which dates back to the first Dutch settlers in "New Amsterdam," we embrace this time with deep reflection and genuine commitment to healing and reconciliation. While our daily work of building bridges, inspiring hope and meeting urgent needs takes us to places all over the world—both physically and digitally—we are invested in fortifying our historic and spiritual foundation here at home in the U.S. and in New York City. The wrongs of the past call our church and Intersections as its ministry to repair those breaches and restore paths toward life and dignity today. Over the past weeks, Believe Out Loud, Intersections' LGBT-focused program, has highlighted "two-spirit" identities as an integral and sacred element of many Native American communities. By amplifying the depth and diversity in Native American spirituality, we widen the circle of those who recognize and honor the dignity of our Native siblings. We invite you to revisit Intersections' groundbreaking Healing Turtle Island event with the Lenape people here. Please also explore our list of resources for further reflection and education at the bottom.
From Believe Out Loud's "two-spirit" posts, a graphic with different terms to describe "two-spirit" people:
Pictures from Intersections' Healing Turtle Island event: