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Oregon Health Advocates Cheer NCAI For Affirming Equity And Access For Gender Diverse Natives


Oregon advocates for LGBTQ and “Two Spirit” individuals are cheering support from the National Congress of American Indians. 

In July, theNCAI passed a resolution supporting the Trans & Gender-Affirming Care Strategic Vision and Action Plan.  It was drafted by the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board.

Morgan Thomas of the NPAIHB says at a time when many state legislatures are restricting transgender rights, it’s great to see support for Indigenous gender-diverse people.

“Prior to colonization within many Indigenous communities, gender diverse people were held with great respect and had esteemed reclaim roles within their communities," Thomas told KLCC. "And we see Two Spirit and gender diverse Indigenous activists and advocates doing a lot of work to reclaim those roles within their contemporary communities” 

Advocates say work has just begun on supporting LGBTQ and Two Spirit rights.  Some still experience ridicule, shunning, or violence in and outside their communities.

*“Two Spirit” signifies an Indigenous person who identifies as having both masculine and femine spirits.  It’s used by some Native people to describe their gender, sexual, and/or spiritual identity.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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