All across Turtle Island during the month of June, people gather to celebrate inclusiveness, diversity, and love as part of Pride celebrations. The global pandemic has changed things in 2020 and 2021, but Kevin Seesequasis of Beardy’s and Okemasis’ Cree Nation (BOCN), located 80 km north of Saskatoon (on Treaty 6 Territory and Homeland of the Métis Nation), reaffirms the commitment to Two Spirits and LGBTQ+ people. As an original signatory to Treaty 6, the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation is situated near the national historic sites of Fort Carlton and Batoche, home of the Riel Resistance, and it is one of the largest First Nations in Saskatchewan with a population of just over 3,000.
It has been seven years since BOCN became the first First Nation on Turtle Island to host a Pride Parade in 2016. In 2019, BOCN became the first First Nation to host (with OUTSaskatoon) an on-reserve Two Spirit Traditional Powwow as part of Saskatoon Pride festivities. Councillor Seesequasis highlights these events and provides a historical perspective on the revitalization and support of Two Spirits on this First Nation, and talks about new opportunities for tourism in this important area of what is now called Saskatchewan.
[Trigger Warning: Video content mentions and shows an image of a residential school]