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Equity, Diversity, & Inclusivity: Library Resources

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Two-spirit flag, rainbow coloured, with two black and white feathers in centre of flag.

Two-Spirit or Nij- manidowag is used for Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island to describe aspects of gender, sexuality, and spiritual identity; however, definitions differ from nation to nation. Its abbreviation is 2S as seen in LGBTQ2S+. The term Two Spirit/Nij- manidowag has been around since 1990, but Two-Spirit peoples have existed for a long time.

Many tribal specific terms exist to refer to specific roles and traditions for their Two-Spirit people. Here are some examples along with approximate definitions:

  • Winkte (Lakota): "to be as a woman"
  • Nádleehí (Navajo): "those who transform" or "one who is transformed"
  • Ikwekaazo and ininiikaazo (Ojibwe): "one who endeavors to be like a woman" and "one who endeavors to be like a man", respectively

Indigiqueer is another term sometimes used alongside or to refer to the Two-Spirit identity; more often it is a term used by some LGBTQ+ Indigenous people who do not self-identify as Two-Spirit, or by those who identify with both. 


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The following are keyword search results from the library catalogue and 300+ databases. Results include academic journal articles, ebooks, books, magazine/news articles, reviews, etc. Consider some of these as a base onto which you can add more specific search terms, such as “twospirit" and history.

Please note: you may need to include outdated and/or problematic terms to see historical works.

You could consider combining these terms with those found on other pages of this guide, such as those on Sexual Orientation