Creation of Two Spirit Task Force

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The National Congress of American Indians
Resolution #PHX-16-046

TITLE: Creation of Two Spirit Task Force

WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and

WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and

WHEREAS, all citizens and members of our member tribes and nations are born free and equal in dignity and rights; and

WHEREAS, Native Two Spirit/LGBTQ individuals face some of the highest disparities across all social and health indicators; these disparities lead to cumulative negative outcomes that affect every area of life; and

WHEREAS, many Two Spirit ancestors and citizens of our tribes have been targets of homophobia and transphobia, carrying with it extremely harmful and even lethal effects; these disparities lead to cumulative outcomes that affect every area of life; and

WHEREAS, 15 to 43 percent of Two Spirit adults experience some form of harassment in the workplace, 65 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native transgender and gender nonconforming people were harassed, 14 percent were physically assaulted, and 10 percent were sexually assaulted at work; and

WHEREAS, without employment, Two Spirit/LGBTQ people are more likely to live in poverty and struggle for access to healthcare, housing, and other important basic necessities for survival; and

WHEREAS, two spirit youth experience increased levels of bullying, resulting in higher rates of truancy, incarceration, elevated levels of self-harm, attempted suicide, and suicide; and

WHEREAS, many of our member tribes have taken steps to prohibit discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in our laws and to address such discriminations; and

WHEREAS, the principles of sovereignty and self-determination dictate that our member tribes have full and authority over issues that impact the health, welfare, preservation of culture, and future for our tribal citizens; and

WHEREAS, NCAI adopted resolution MSP-15-047, “Standing in Support of our Two Spirit Relatives in our Communities and Nations.”

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians does hereby establish a Two Spirit Task Force to assist in the coordination, collaboration, and outreach to Indian Country on Two Spirit issues; and to develop and share approaches and solutions to policy issues that affect Two Spirit/LGBTQ community members in a manner consistent with the Indian self-determination; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Task Force shall be headed by two co-chairs and the membership shall be open to any and all tribal leaders and citizens wishing to participate; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.


The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2016 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Phoenix Convention Center, October 9th- 14th 2016, with a quorum present.