KT Connects - DecolonizinResearch: Collecting Two-Spirit Data in Culturally Affirming Ways

Event Date: 
Friday, March 26, 2021 - 2:00pm EDT
Event Location: 
Event Fee: 
no cost
Event Contact E-mail: 

Speaker - Harlan Pruden (Nehiyô/First Nations Cree) Educator - Chee Mamuk, BC Center for Disease Control

Centering Two-Spirit and Indigenous experiences and ways is critical for more respectful, reciprocal, relevant, and responsible health research. Two-Spirit is often equated to an LGBTQ Indigenous participant; thereby, rendering this community’s unique experience and history invisible and erasing important distinctions. This type of scholarship becomes a site of colonization. The challenge is how to collect Two-Spirit data that in culturally safe and affirming ways, so health research(ers) are given the opportunity to do rigorous sex- and gender-based analysis that promotes science that considers biological sex and accounts for all genders in an effort to expand our collective understanding(s) within a diversity framework. This presentation examines some decolonizing practices to better formulate health research, policies and programs that are relevant, respectful and mindful to Two-Spirit people and communities or in other words be a site of reconcilia(c)tion in research.

Learning objectives:
1. Explore what and who is Two-Spirit and differences between non-Indigenous understandings, notions and ways such as LGBTQI
2. Discuss practical guidance of best practices for doing more respectful, reciprocal, relevant, and responsible (decolonizing) health research
3. Receive recently published guidance on how to collect Two-Spirit data in a culturally affirming and sensitive way - “Meet the Methods Series: ‘What and Who is Two-Spirit?”’ in Health Research.”

Harlan Pruden (Nehiyô/First Nations Cree)
Educator @Chee Mamuk, BC Center for Disease Control (BCCDC)
Harlan Pruden works with and for the Two-Spirit community locally, nationally and internationally. Currently, Harlan is an Educator at Chee Mamuk, an Indigenous public health program at BCCDC and is also a co-founder of the Two-Spirit Dry Lab, North America’s first research group/lab that exclusively focuses on Two-Spirit people, communities and/or experiences. Harlan is also the Managing Editor of the TwoSpiritJournal.com and an Advisory Member for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Gender and Health. Before relocating to Vancouver in 2015, Harlan was co-founder and a Director of NYC community based organization, the NorthEast Two-Spirit Society and was a President Obama appointee to the US Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and provided advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Health & Human Services and the White House. (In December 2018, Harlan was (happily) fired/dismissed from PACHA by Mr. Trump via Fedex.)