The University of Winnipeg



Two-Spirit Archives finds home at UWinnipeg

Passing of a Legacy, photo supplied

Passing of a Legacy, photo supplied

The University of Winnipeg Archives, in collaboration with the Two-Spirited People of Manitoba, officially launched the Two-Spirit* Archives at UWinnipeg as part of UWinnipeg’s Pride celebrations

This collection is believed to be the most comprehensive archival collection of Two-Spirit material in Canada. In conjunction with the Two-Spirit Archives Advisory Council, UWinnipeg plans to develop the collection into an internationally-renowned research collection. The collection will support scholarship and research while preserving the history and the contributions of Two-Spirit peoples.

Elder Albert McLeod, Director of Two-Spirited People of Manitoba, accumulated the original material comprising the Two-Spirit Archives and donated it to UWinnipeg Archives in several installments beginning in 2011.

“Coming from a colonial history that attempted to disrupt and erase my Two-Spirit identity, I am leaving a legacy that showed I had indeed survived,” said McLeod.

The Two-Spirit Archives consists of newsletters, journals, magazines, reports, newspaper clippings, correspondence, poetry, photographs, posters, art, textiles, books, videocassettes, and other ephemera that document the Indigenous Two-Spirit movement in Manitoba and throughout North America.  

“Through the stewardship of these records, UWinnipeg Archives hopes to centre Two-Spirit people in Canadian history and assist Indigenous people in the ongoing decolonization process by proudly reclaiming this element of their history, culture, and spirituality,” said Brett Lougheed, UWinnipeg Acting Associate Dean, Library and Director, Oral History Centre. “UWinnipeg Archives hopes to fill the gap in Canada’s documentary heritage by stewarding records created by and about Two-Spirit people. We want to encourage the writing of histories and the creation of heritage that centre Two-Spirit people and, more accurately, reflect a society that is inclusive of this community.”

UWinnipeg Archives is actively seeking archival donations to help support the Two-Spirit Archives. Please contact Brett Lougheed at or 204-786-9914 for more information.

*Two Spirit is a term used to describe Indigenous people who assume cross, or multiple gender roles, attributes, dress, and attitudes for personal, spiritual, cultural, ceremonial, or social reasons. These roles are defined by each cultural group and can be fluid over a person’s lifetime. Modern terms like gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, [GLBT] transsexual and intersexed (in combination with, or exclusive to, Two Spirit) may be adopted by some Indigenous people to define who they are.

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