Haskell Indian Nations University Indian Country

Haskell’s First-Ever Two-Spirit Powwow

by Kayla Bointy

Haskell History was made on Februrary 24th , where the First-Ever Haskell Two-Spirit Powwow was held in Tecumseh Hall. The Indian Leader took to the crowd on their opinion of the turnout . For the first-ever Haskell Two-spirit Powwow; what is your opinion on the success? Do you think there will be another? Should the Haskell student body make an effort to carry on this legacy? What are your thoughts?

Miss Haskell, Caroline Wiseman:
“Personally I had never been to a non-competition powwow, and I loved the environment of the two-spirit Powwow! It was homey, safe, and inviting! I met people from all over, the diversity there was beautiful! I would say it was a very successful powwow. I hope there is another! It would be a shame if there wasn’t because of how successful this powwow was. But it would have to be Student led, which is possible because this one was. That Student is graduating, but I feel that this powwow was so well attended, empowering, and uplifting, I think Students will carry on its legacy. ONWARD HASKELL!”

Fancy Shawl Dancer and Sophmore Ra’el Wilbur states :
“I thought it was very successful by the way it was organized, you could tell Bry had everything on time and made the entire community feel welcome.. Especially when it came to grand entry time, because normally Haskell Powwows don't start exactly when they say it will, and then Bry comes in with the Two-Spirit Powwow exactly how he said it was going to be. I hope they have another Two-Spirit Powwow planned for the future, because Haskell is a very rich cultural campus and having these events is a great way of bringing the student body and community together. It also encourages the students to be connected to their cultural roots, even though some tribes have different practices, its still a great way to get them involved and be proud of who they are as an Indigenous person.”

Student Worker and Junior, Randy Nagitsy :
“I would have to say that the success showed in the number of alumni who attended and showed their support. Hearing those gay/ lesbian/ two spirit alumni response on social media , as well as their emotional response , people cried ,and I believe that shows it was a form of healing in its own … It would be nice if there could be another Two-Spirit powwow but it would take a combination of student will, hard work and acceptance from the student body as well as the community. I believe that’s why Two-Spirit month was so successful due to Bry (Asmaali) Library Carrie and (Elyse) Towey who actually kept on their agenda, had an itemized list on how to execute each component of educating and healing . I think my favorite part of the two spirit event would be the Dine’ speaker spoke of his relationship with his fiancé , and how in the state of Arizona their marriage would be recognized, however the Navajo Nation, due to the Dine’ Act of 2005 prohibits them from getting married. That was a bit of an eye-opener because you have a state that’s willing to acknowledge same sex marriage but even within in our own tribal nations, (I believe its twelve tribes who prohibit same sex marriage and the Dine’ Nation is one of them) some tribes who wont let go of their own colonial mindsets… in order to carry on the legacy of what we witnessed this past month, the responsibility lies within the two spirit community. Bry really laid the blueprint for future Haskell students who take the initiative to carry on, but I believe it can be done.”

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