The University of Winnipeg is excited to kick off Pride Week with the raising of the Progress and Two-Spirit flags.
The annual ceremony will take place Monday, May 29 at 10:00 a.m. in front of Wesley Hall. Convocation Hall will act as an alternative location in the event of inclement weather.
“I encourage all students, faculty, and staff to join us for this important event,” said Dr. Todd Mondor, President and Vice-Chancellor. “At this event, we come together to show our support for our 2SLGBTQ+ community and highlight our ongoing commitment to ensure that every individual on our campus is respected and valued.”
Participants at the flag raising will include:
Dancing Bear, also known as Gayle Pruden (she/her), sits with the Black Bear Clan. She is a Kookum and Jingle Dress Dancer from the Little Saskatchewan First Nation, located on Treaty 2 Territory in Manitoba.
Raised by her grandmother, grandfather, and great grandfather, Dancing Bear is fluent in Anishinaabemowin and is the oldest of five siblings. Being a Two-Spirit Trans Woman who has danced more than 15 years, she says the gift of dance enriched her life with knowledge about the old ways of doing ceremony.
Feather Talia (he/she/they) is a Two-Spirit drag queen who resides in Winnipeg and has been doing drag for almost six years. She is the pride of Muskowekwan First Nation, and represents her culture within her performances.
She has won numerous titles, and shows her talents on different kinds of platforms. Relatively new to Winnipeg, Feather Talia has been given the title of Indigiqueer Drag Comedian. She is the Mother of the House of Wolves and Queens.
Vanessa (Vee) Tait (she/her) is proud of her identity and roots as a Two-Spirited Cree woman from O-pipon-na-piwin Cree Nation – South Indian Lake, Manitoba. As a Two-Spirit Cree woman, she has come across many struggles and challenges. With guidance of her ancestors and Kookums, she is reclaiming her power and place by building pathways of inclusion and safety mechanisms for her Two-Spirit relatives, First Nations people, and Indigenous women.
Vanessa Tait is a survivor of gender-based violence and is now a strong advocate for her relatives; she understands the challenges, barriers, the systemic racism, and jurisdictional issues faced by Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people and communities. She is the co-founder and past board member for Manitoba Moon Voices Inc., a non-profit Indigenous women and gender-diverse organization.
Following the Progress and Two-Spirit flag raising, the Pride Committee, Human Resources, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and Indigenous Engagement will be hosting a Teach-In Luncheon from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. in Convocation Hall.
The luncheon, moderated by Danielle Bitz and featuring Dr. Reece Malone, Elder Albert McLeod, and Vanessa Tait, will highlight 2SLGBTQ+ awareness and contemporary issues. The discussion will focus on creating an inclusive environment, considerations for systems/onboarding, and language. Elder McLeod will start the event by sharing the history of Two-Spirit people on this land.
Learn more about UWinnipeg’s Pride Week and all of the events happening on and off of campus.