This space was designed for youth to explore Two Spirit cultures and histories from futurist, peer-led perspectives, where they could learn beginner skills in a patient environment and make their very own regalia.
In 2021, our Culture and Wellness team piloted a series of virtual workshops called Virtual Two Spirit Regalia Making.
The space was designed for youth to explore Two Spirit culture and history from futurist, peer-led perspectives, where they could learn beginner skills in a patient environment and make their very own regalia.
Practicing our Indigenous ways of knowing and doing has been an integral part of my healing journey. Having the opportunity to be in spaces where I can come as I am to further learn about Powwow regalia is much needed for our community. These spaces are not only educational, but healing as well.
Jordy Ironstar (he/they), Two Spirit Regalia Making Program Alumni
The pilot program was a response to the need for social connection at the onset of Covid-19 and the need for more culturally inclusive spaces for Two Spirit and Indigiqueer youth. It celebrated the unique roles and gifts of Two Spirit kin, focusing on healthy spirituality and self-care activities. Participants engaged in weekly workshops introducing regalia styles, sewing and beadwork techniques, garment ideation, and identifying motifs, their meanings, symbolism and spiritual relevance across distinct nations.
About the Two Spirit Cultural Revitalization and Wellness Program
In 2022-23, we are relaunching a newer version of this project based on participant feedback: Two Spirit Cultural Revitalization and Wellness Program. Starting Fall 2022, you can look forward to 7-week cycles of beginner-friendly, Two Spirit, seasonally-aligned cultural and regalia teachings on:
Ribbon Work and Applique Techniques
Garment and Accessory Making Techniques
I’d like to encourage Indigiqueer youth to seek out community, either in person or online. I felt like an outsider as a kid — because I was the only out queer person in my small town — and because I had been removed from my Indigenous community. Connecting with other two-spirits was essential to my healing and growth as a person. It is important to seek out those who understand and accept your authentic self, as cheesy as that may sound.
Lex Edmunds (they/he), Two Spirit Regalia Making Program Alumni
Two Spirit Regalia Beginner Beading Techniques: October 11 – November 22, 2022
The Two Spirit Cultural Revitalization and Wellness Program will be delivered online via Zoom, with Indigenous youth across what is currently Canada. You are eligible to apply if you are:
An Indigenous youth (ages 18-29)
First Nations, Inuit or Métis, Status or Non-Status
Two Spirit, LGBT+, genderfluid or questioning identity
Located in an urban or remote community with internet access*
*CRE is committed to equity access. We want to support you and discuss any barriers to participation you may have. Please reach out to Amanda Amour-Lynx, Indigenous Wellness Specialist if you require any accommodations for accessibility/technological needs.
Two Spirit Regalia Skills Program Breakdown
October 2022 – Two Spirit Regalia Beginner Beading Techniques
Week 1 Respect:Two Spirit Roles, Gifts, History and Identity
Healthy Spirituality, Community and Wellness
Navigating pan-Indigenous and Western views
Peer-led narratives for Two Spirit Futurities and World-Building
Week 2 Love: Planning and Designing Your Regalia Colouring Book
Orientation to Indigenous and Western Colour Theory
Pow Wow Dance Styles
Week 3 Honesty: Visioning a Two Spirit Regalia
Vision-boarding with Pinterest, Digital Scrapbooking
Planning Your Designs Using Spirit and Research
Connecting our Histories and Nationhoods to a Two-Spirit Fluidity
Activity: Make Your Own Rabbit Fur Pom Pom
Activity: Beading Building Blocks, Pixels, Geometries— Learn Brick Stitch Technique
Week 4 Courage:Designing Your First Beadwork Project
Introduction to Flat Stitch Technique Using Cabochons
Genderfluidity in Beadwork, Design Earrings, a Pin Brooch, Patch or Medallion
Beading Essentials, Understanding Beadwork Tools and Supplies
Symbology and Spiritual Codes Within Beadwork, Traditional Material History, Beading and Wellness
Week 5 Truth: Finishing Your First Beadwork Project
Attaching Jewelry Findings to Your Project
Applying a Backing Material to Your Project, Understanding Backing Materials, Adhesives and Reinforcements
Edging Techniques: Learn Simple and Ornate Picot Edging
Week 6 Humility:Rope Stitch Beadwork
Identifying Rope Stitch in Regalia Making — Medallions, Headbands, Lanyards, Straps
Gentle Hands: Beadwork Repair, Patience and Humility Teachings
Project: Rope Stitch Wrapping Technique Using Paracord
Week 7 Wisdom:Sharing Circle and Virtual Gathering
Completing our Projects
Sharing Circle, Project Feedback and Reflections
January 2023 – Two Spirit Regalia Beginner Sewing and Wrapping Techniques
Info coming soon
April 2023 – Two Spirit Regalia Beginner Ribbon Work and Applique Intro Techniques
Info coming soon
June 2023 – Two Spirit Regalia Beginner Garment Making and Accessory Techniques
Info coming soon
About the Registration Form
The form begins with basic demographic questions that help us run our program, and will help us run future programming. There are certain personal questions that we are asking that will help us to complete evaluation and to report to the funders who make CRE programming possible. We will be asked to report upon our program, and your demographic data will be used in this context with respect to your confidentiality.
We have made our every effort to not ask anything more than is required and there are a few questions that you can write ‘prefer not to answer’. We provided spaces to elaborate upon any confidentiality concerns around identity and disclosure.
Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure: Near the end of the form, we will ask for your mailing address in order to send you supplies to participate in the program. This information will be used solely for the mailing of supplies, and you are welcome to opt-out for any reason. All packages will have neutral information on the outside, and will say from Canadian Roots Exchange. If for any reason, you are unable to give out your home address but would still like to receive the supplies, please let us know and we will do our best to make accommodations.
This survey will take you 10-12 minutes to complete. For any questions, please contact Amanda: firstname.lastname@example.org
We understand that there are many reasons why the Two Spirit community would need their personal information to remain confidential. We commit to protect your personal information from being divulged without your consent.
Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure
The online video conference sessions (Zoom) will be only made available to participants of the program, guest facilitators, invited guests, elders and CRE staff who are scheduled to be in the sessions. You will receive a schedule of this closer to the start of the program. As a group, we will discuss how we want the privacy of the group to be respected as well as all your work, images, videos or photos of yourself produced or shared with us throughout the course of the program. There may be an opportunity to showcase or share our work with others, and prior to this happening, you will receive consent forms where you can choose which ways you would like to be represented and whether you would like to be represented.
We know it is important for many reasons for our participants’ identity to be protected and kept safe and the priority for the sessions is to create a sense of community and to talk about regalia, queerness, identity and craft, sew or bead together.
The artwork featured on the graphics for this project was commissioned from Moe Butterfly.
This initiative is aimed at non-Indigenous settlers of colour and engages participants in concrete discussions related to a variety of themes such as connecting to homelands, the nuanced experiences and responsibilities of settlers of colour, and the history of colonization and anti-Blackness in Canada.
For the 2023-2024 program year, we are refocusing on the development of Black Indigenous Solidarity content that better integrates community needs. To accomplish this, CRE will host 6 virtual (or in-person when possible) engagement sessions. During these sessions, we will be encouraging Black/Indigenous/Afro-Indigenous youth to meaningfully reflect on their understanding of solidarity, identify community needs, and conceptualize activities to achieve this.
The Words in Motion program provides spaces for youth between 18-29 to reconnect to their traditional languages in an online virtual format. Young language speakers can facilitate an introduction in their Indigenous language to youth peers, creating leadership skills, community building and interaction, and developing their capacity for peer mentorship.
IYR is a registered charity that provides Indigenous youth led leadership, learning and experiences to every youth that participates in our programs. We provide programming, grants, and opportunities that are grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing and being.