Montana Two Spirit Society–Missoula, MT

Montana Two Spirit Society–Missoula, MT

December 4, 2019 0 By William Hollis


My name is David Herrera and I am the board member, founding board member, with the Montana Two Spirit Society We started the first Native Two Spirit Gathering Two spirit people were always part of the
different tribes They were actually revered and
were the medicine people They were the negotiators, they were the healers, the arbitrators, so they carried different roles within the tribe that
were very, very important The missionaries they came in and
saw that they were like men dressing as women, which was then considered an abomination so they got
rid of those individuals There was this culture that got lost One of the things that I’m really proud of
is that we’ve started to try and do outreach to folks in Mexico, and realizing that what
we considered the borders were artificial geographic boundaries that were placed there
as a result of colonial interests One of the main purposes of the gathering
is to help people learn about the importance of two spirit folks One of the ways we do that is the different
ceremonies, you know have always been very important to the different tribes at the gatherings we do incorporate ceremony For the last couple of years we’ve been doing pipe ceremonies, and that’s at sunrise so we start at like 6 in the morning, around the sacred fire Once that sacred fire is lit,
always at least two people that are gonna be caring 24 hours a day for that fire people can come and they can meditate they can offer prayers, they can offer tobacco if they need some sort of healing to go on,
that’s a great way to do it Throughout the day there would be
different educational sessions I always think that one of the most important
works is really not what happens in the formal sessions but it’s what happens outside those sessions There are folks that have been coming to the
gathering for many years so for a lot of people this is a type of reunion it’s for reconnecting with family The last night is always reserved for the
powwow and would incorporate a lot of singing and dancing and drumming to bring back that culture and to teach people that we were always a part of the Native traditions This sacred circle Until we are brought back, that circle is not complete