The Largest Native American Two-Spirit Powwow Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

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01/31/2021

On February 11th, 2012, the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits organization (BAAITS) held the first ever Native American Two-Spirit Powwow. A powwow is a cultural celebration that includes traditions like singing, dancing, and drumming. The team behind the first BAAITS Powwow sought to de-gender these traditions and bring Two-Spirit people, those who do not identify within the gender binary, together from tribes across North and Central America. They did all of that and more. Still going strong, this year will mark the BAAITS Two-Spirit Powwow’s tenth anniversary. Throughout the past decade, it has engaged tens of thousands of Two-Spirit people and allies, and it has helped launch a growing movement to increase the acceptance and visibility of Two-Spirit people. “It’s pretty amazing to see Two-Spirit leadership, visibility and vision and what we can do,” said BAAITS interim Executive Director Amelia Vigil. “We started it so small,” added Board Treasurer Miko Thomas, who is also one of the Powwow’s founders. “…Our goal was to put on a powwow as a means of giving back to our own community and little did we know it would grow into a movement in other parts of Canada and the US. We went from being the only public Two-Spirit Powwow to being the first and oldest. There is so much gratitude in that.”

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