The University of Winnipeg



A Call to Conversation: Two-Spirit and Queer People of Colour Conference

Dr. Chantal Fiola, Dr. Sharanpal Ruprai C2C Co-Chairs, ©UWinnipeg

Dr. Chantal Fiola, Dr. Sharanpal Ruprai C2C Co-Chairs, ©UWinnipeg

WINNIPEG, MB – The work of building a culture of tolerance, acceptance and celebration, where everyone is comfortable expressing who they are, is moving forward in Winnipeg. Internationally and across Canada, it is still the case that many of us are marginalized, excluded and targets of hate.

UWinnipeg is hosting a groundbreaking conference that will bring the voices of Two-Spirit (2S) and Queer People of Colour (QPOC) communities to the forefront. “A Call to Conversation” (C2C) is gathering community members, scholars, activists, artists, students, youth, and traditional knowledge holders to dialogue on the work that need to be done for a more inclusive society. 

C2C is the first of its kind in Canada in that it is focused on the experiences of Two-Spirited and Queer People of Colour. C2C runs from October 20 – 22, 2017 at UWinnipeg. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor at UWinnipeg. Photo by Cory Aronec.

“As Winnipeg’s urban university, we bring diverse groups of people together and create inclusive spaces where ideas and experiences can be shared,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor. “In this spirit, The Call to Conversation Conference will help us move towards a more inclusive society.”

“We call on our communities and people working in institutions to listen and connect with each other,” said co-chair, Dr. Sharanpal Ruprai (Women’s and Gender Studies). “This conference will bring together calls for critical dialogue between 2S and QPOC communities and with LGBTQ* and cisgender heterosexual allies about how best to move forward together”.

Dr. Chantal Fiola, (Urban and Inner-City Studies), fellow co-chair explains, “one of the objectives of the gathering is to draft calls to action though collaboration with elders and delegates which can provide direction to families, communities, and institutions in the hopes of bettering the lives of 2S and QPOC people.”

Dialogue led by 2S/QPOC people will seek to address the damage of the past and how to achieve stronger, more loving community relations in the future. Five themes will be explored: Origins, History, and Resurgence of 2S and QPOC; Families (e.g., families of origin, children in care, chosen families); Education (e.g., Indigenizing the K-12 and post-secondary curriculum, challenging racism in museums); Institutions (e.g., religion, immigration, criminal justice, child welfare, health care); and, Creative Practice.

In addition to the C2C Conference co-chairs Fiola and Ruprai, the committee is made up of a cross section of the university that includes faculty, staff and students. C2C is being held in partnership between The University of Winnipeg; Two-Spirited People of Manitoba Inc., and Queer People of Colour Winnipeg (QPOC) and is receiving guidance and direction from an Elders’ Advisory Council.

For a full list of events, speakers and registration please visit C2C.

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