This Christmas season, we invite you to participate in Advent through the theme of justice—specifically to begin the work of Call for Justice 18.17 from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Call 18.17 states: “We call upon all governments, service providers, and educators to fund and support the re-education of communities and individuals who have learned to reject 2SLGBTQQIA people, or who deny their important history and contemporary place within communities and in ceremony, and to address transphobia and homophobia in communities (for example, with anti-transphobia and anti-homophobia programs), to ensure cultural access for 2SLGBTQQIA people.”
To help us along the journey to fulfill Call 18.17, Spiritual Care has put together an Advent Calendar that will feature daily actions to participate in. This important work is part of our commitment to putting reconciliation into action and advocating for justice for the MMIWG and 2SLGBTQQIA community.
“The Advent Calendar walks us through the beginning steps of learning, unlearning, and relearning about Two- Spirit, Indigiqueer, and gender-diverse Indigenous folx’s experiences, systemic oppression, colonization, and radical change,” says Indigenous Spiritual Care Chaplain Lauren Sanders (Prairie Band Potawatomi and Kickapoo), who created the calendar.
The calendar includes resources to help unpack how our societal understanding of gender and sexuality is impacted by colonialism.
“An important part of the call is learning how colonization fractured our ideas of gender and community,” shares Lauren, who has also had to deconstruct colonial ideologies that have purposely excluded cultural Indigenous practices and beliefs. “I’ve had to relearn, in my own Indigenous community, what being gender-diverse, trans, Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer means. We were colonized and told that if you were following Indigenous traditions, you were ‘of the devil.’ It’s also a journey for me and my family. I’m learning and relearning with my children, and even talking with my mom, who went through Residential School in the United States. It’s about reframing and understanding what
it means to be Indigenous and that you’re a beautiful creation of the Creator.”
Lauren stresses the importance of learning from those who identify as gender-diverse, Indigiqueer, Two-Spirit, and queer—and features resources in the calendar that center those experiences. “These are voices we aren’t used to hearing. It’s so important to hear from them and how they want to tell their experiences.”
Lauren encourages us to do this work together as a community, and will be hosting weekly Zoom sessions to provide a space for deeper discussions.
View the Advent and Christmas Calendar to get the Zoom link.