It’s the most exciting time of the year for some Manitoba folks – the launch of Pride Winnipeg happened on Fri. May 26 with a flag raising at Winnipeg’s City Hall followed by a Two Spirit Pow Wow at The Forks.
The Two Spirit Pow Wow is a new event this year for Pride Winnipeg. It’s an impressive step for many reasons, including the fact that traditionally, two-spirit people would have been revered by their communities.
The term “two spirit” is a way some Indigenous people refer to those in their communities who may identify as gender-variant, gay, lesbian, or queer.
Pow wows are a great opportunity for people from all cultures to come together to dance, sing, celebrate, and make new friendships. It was great to see a diversity of people at the Two Spirit Pow Wow on May 26.
Along with other political leaders, Judy Klassen, interim leader of Manitoba’s Liberal Party, joined the grand entry for the pow wow while holding a blanket for Colten Pratt. This two-spirited 27-year-old man from Long Plain First Nation has been missing since November 2014.
Ms. Klassen shared remarks about her concern for missing and murdered Indigenous peoples as well as her pride at being a part of this historic event. Ms. Klassen is a First Nations woman originally from St. Theresa Point.
This year, Pride Winnipeg is working to branch out and bring more diversity to both its advertising materials as well as the events. The theme for this year’s events is “Resurgence”.
“Over the past decades, the Pride movement evolved from one of protest and demonstration, to one of celebration,” states the Pride Winnipeg website. “The celebration has mainly been for Lesbian and Gay individuals, while our Bisexual, Trans-Identified, Two-Spirit, Non-Binary, Queer and Queer People of Colour communities have not yet felt the same progress and desire for celebration of equality.”
The Two Spirit Pow Wow was a great way to get things started in a good way, helping to create a safe and celebratory space for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members to come together and share in the rich culture of Manitoba’s First Peoples.
Pride Winnipeg events continue throughout the week, culminating in an exciting and lively rally and parade on Sun. June 4. You can join in the rally at the Manitoba Legislature grounds beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
You can also find a wide variety of Pride events, including drag queens reading children’s books at the library, lesbian lube wrestling, a wheelchair accessible Zumba dance party, single’s nights, church service, a wine and cheese reception, and more! Click here for a full list of community events.