Two-Spirit Powwow: Honoring LGBTQ people
Oct 10, 2023, 11:00 AM
(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — The Urban Indian Center held its 4th annual Two Spirit Powwow on Friday at Salt Lake Community College. It’s held in October because it’s LGBTQ history month.
“The Two-Spirit Powwow is a way for us to honor our LGBTQ and two-spirit relatives,” Kristina Groves, the center’s behavioral health division director, told KSL NewsRadio.
According to the Indian Health Service, native two-spirit people traditionally combined activities of both men and women with traits unique to their status as two-spirit. Two-spirit people are essentially a third gender, neither female nor male. They are often referred to with the same term regardless of whether they were born male or female.
However, two-spirit people are not viewed the same across all indigenous cultures.
The Two Spirit Powwow held Friday was a social powwow, which means anyone can attend. The powwow starts with the grand entry.
“That’s when all of the dancers, our flag carrier, our spiritual advisor, they all enter the arena into the circle at one time,” Groves said. “It’s pretty spectacular to see.”
Dancers wear intricate regalia and dance in different categories. Although, this powwow was a non-contest powwow.
The powwow also featured a vendor market with art and food.
“It’s really just a way for us to share our culture and to kind of connect socially with Native American people and the wider community,” Groves said.
- ‘First of its kind’: Indigenous fashion week coming to Salt Lake City
- ‘Our work isn’t done’: Utah missing, murdered Indigenous people task force preps for report