Sunday, June 05, 2016

When Europeans Conquered…

…Indigenous cultures one of the first things that they did was to destroy their culture. Here in the United States we continued genocide and the abolishing of their culture, we sent their children to missionary schools to teach them the white man’s culture and religions.
By Max Kutner
May 2, 2016

As several U.S. states consider public bathroom policies similar to the one that passed in North Carolina this spring, a Native American reservation in Montana is facing criticism for passing its own version of the law. The Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana has likely become the first Native American group to say that tribal members must use the public bathroom corresponding to their gender at birth.

On May 23, the executive board on the 2 million–acre reservation, which is home to roughly 10,000 members of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes, passed a motion “regarding transgender use of public bathrooms to mirror the position the state of North Carolina has taken,” according to the minutes from the meeting, obtained by a local media outlet.

“What people do in their bedrooms is their business. How public bathrooms are used is [my] business,” Tribal Councilman Edward Bauer said during the meeting.
The bathroom frenzy didn’t exempt the indigenous communities but not everyone feels the way that their leaders feel.
Anthony Shields Sr., an executive board member on the Fort Peck Reservation, says tribal leaders have been inundated with calls about the bathroom policy. “They basically don’t know how to handle it,” he says. “A lot of them have been catching hell from tribal members for doing this.”
“It’s very offensive to our people,” he adds. “These guys who brought it up are in the dark about our gays and lesbians and our transgender [people]. They don’t understand it, they don’t want to understand it.”
Pathos has an article about Two-Spirit peoples…
Two-Spirit: Gender Identity in America, Before America
May 31, 2016 by Mason Lync

I’ve heard many people claim that sexual orientation and gender identity are new and radical ideas invented by god-hating progressives, but that’s simply not true. From ancient China to the pre-colonial Americas, and just about everywhere in between, recognition of non-binary gender and sexuality is a common but often ignored part of history. The details vary between cultures, and our current movement has its own unique traits, but the basic ideas are far from new.

Long before Europeans introduced smallpox and Christianity to the American continents, many of the native tribes recognized non-binary gender identities, which are now described by the term two-spirit. Formerly, Europeans had used berdache, which essentially means “male prostitute”…one small example of how badly they failed at respecting native culture.
“The phrase ‘two spirit’ began to gain traction across Native America after 1990, when 13 men, women and transgender people from various tribes met in Winnipeg, Canada, with the task of finding a term that could unite the LGBTQ Native community. Numerous terms in tribal languages identified third genders in their cultures that encompassed both masculine and feminine, and the struggle for those gathered in Winnipeg was finding a contemporary term that would be embraced across all tribal cultures.”
-Zachary Pullin, Two Spirit: The Story of a Movement Unfolds
The details of the social standing of two-spirit individuals before European colonization varied from tribe to tribe. Many considered them to have both male and female spirits in one body, hence the modern term, and in most tribes they were accepted and respected. Some thought being two-spirit was a blessing from the gods. They filled roles such as maintaining oral traditions and storytelling, healing, weaving, performing spiritual ceremonies, caring for children, arbitrating conflicts, and more. Their existence was one of the most widely shared social features of native tribes throughout the Americas.
The article goes on to point out how we destroyed their culture,
European colonization brought Christian values to America and the result was devastating for two-spirit natives, who were considered perverted and forced into more traditional gender roles. The U.S. government acted directly to suppress the acceptance of non-binary genders among native tribes. Unfortunately, their efforts were successful and native communities became corrupted with the homophobia of Europeans.
And now we see the tribal council criminalizing Two Spirit people.

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