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Arts & Life

Two-Spirit Wacipi celebrates LGBTQ tribal members

Two Spirit Wacipi
Carl Norquist
/
SDPB
The Two-Spirit Wacipi at the Sioux Falls Multi-Cultural Center.

A Two-Spirit Wacipi in Sioux Falls honors indigenous LGBTQ and two-spirited Oceti Sakowin members.

Wacipi, or powwows, are traditionally divided by sex. But the Two-Spirit Wacipi is an inclusive space where people can dance as their own gender identity.

The term “two-spirit” comes from the Oceti Sakowin people's traditional understanding of gender roles — where a person can have both a masculine and feminine spirit.

Reverend Shaneequa Brokenleg is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. They say events like these are an important way to maintain culture.

“This celebration is a combination of American Indian celebration both as American Indians but also as Winkte or two-spirit people," says Brokenleg. "It's also a celebration of our LGBTQ community given that it’s pride week.”

Wednesday’s inaugural Wacipi event was organized by South Dakota Urban Indian Health.