ABOUT US

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OUR VISION

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WHAT WE DO

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OUR COMMUNITY

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AboutUs 

The Montana Two Spirit Society formed in 1996 through a joint effort by Pride Inc. (Montana’s LGBT advocacy organization) and the Montana Gay Health Task Force to conduct an annual Two Spirit Gathering.  Over the years, the gathering has grown from a handful of participants to nearly 100 attendees from not only Montana but surrounding states as well.  Tribes from all over Turtle Island are represented at the Gathering.

Our Mission

The mission of the Montana Two Spirit Society is to advocate and educate the Montana LGBTQ community and general community about Two Spirit issues, histories and traditions.  We promote health, wellness and spiritual well being by sharing our traditions with one another, healing past wounds, and learning new ways to combat disease.  We also outreach and build alliances and coalitions with other community based organizations to increase visibility of the Two Spirit and Native LGBTQ community and restore our traditions.

 

 

Over the years, the Montana Two Spirit Society has brought more awareness about Two Spirit and Native LGBTQ issues by:

 

  • Conduct Montana Two Spirit Gathering for 25 years

  • Hosting the International Two Spirit Gathering

  • Marching at LGBTQ Pride parades

  • Conducting workshops and presentations at conferences, summits and retreats

  • Attending similar Two Spirit gatherings around the country

  • Networking with other Two Spirit societies and Native LGBTQ groups

  • Current member of the International Council of Two Spirit Societies

  • Collaborating with LGBTQ organizations such as Western MT 2S-LGBTQ Community Center and Montana Gay Health Task Force

STAFF & BOARD
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As a founder of the Montana Two Spirit Society, Steven continues to educate and bring awareness about a culture that due to colonization was almost forgotten and eliminated. 

 

For over 20 years he has worked to educate Native and non-Native communities about two spirit culture and the impact of HIV infection on Native communities.  Having lost friends to this disease at a time when there was little hope and few treatments, his journey of HIV prevention and two spirit education has been a personal one.  Since 1997, he has helped plan and coordinate the annual Montana Two Spirit Gathering and watched it grow from a handful of participants to one of the largest and only gathering in the Pacific Northwest averaging 50 – 70 Native two spirits each year.  He conducts HIV testing on his reservation and provides this vital service for Native two spirit men afraid to go anywhere else due to confidentiality, homophobia and stigma.  He serves on the Montana Community Planning Group, as well as the Montana Gay Men’s Task Force.  He has served on the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center’s Harm Reduction Board, National Native American CPG, and Pride Foundation’s Racial Equity Initiative.  He has conducted presentations on two spirit history throughout the Pacific Northwest and states such as Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico.

Board Chair

Pikunii Blackfeet Nation

STEVEN BARRIOS
DAVID
HERRERA
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David is currently the director for FDH & Associates and the Montana Gay Men’s Task Force, and has conducted HIV prevention and HIV testing & counseling in Montana since 1986.  In 1990, he served on the founding board of directors for the Yellowstone AIDS Project and in the late 90’s served as the organization’s executive director until 2001.  He has served as the Community Co-Chair for the Statewide Community Planning Group (CPG) and as Chair for the Governor’s HIV / AIDS Advisory Council.  He was a member of the planning committee for the 2005 National Gay Men’s Health Summit held in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Since 1995, he has helped coordinate the annual Montana Two Spirit Gathering and currently serves on the Montana Two Spirit Society board of directors.  As a long time community organizer for the LGBT community, he currently serves as a board member of the Western Montana LGBT Community Center.  For play and stress relief, he is an active tennis player and works to promote tennis in the LGBT and Native communities by serving on the Garden City Tennis Association board as its President. He received his degree in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University in 1986.

Director

Adopted Blackfeet 

& Mestizo

HIRAM
CALF LOOKING
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Hiram is a Native family/community advocate, cultural knowledge-keeper, educator, and artist with over 25 years of experience in the realm of Native family/community advocacy, Native youth/children advocacy and development rooted in traditional and cultural approaches, marginalized populations advocacy, Native arts and culture advocacy, community-centered leadership, culturally-rooted community engagement, and policy development support. A highly regarded and celebrated GLBT and Two-Spirit advocate across communities throughout the Northwest, Hiram Calf Looking is the founder of House of Star – a Northwest-based drag family with a mission of raising awareness for drag queens of color and promoting AIDS advocacy and awareness across communities of color. Hiram is also deeply invested in mentorship of new Native American drag queens and drag queens of color, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. A passionate community organizer, with a broad base of expertise, Hiram Calf Looking currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Washington Indian Civil Rights Commission, Co-Chair of the Northwest Two-Spirit Society, serves on the Board of the Montana Two-Spirit Society, and is an active delegate/member of the International Council of Two-Spirit Society, and the Blackfeet Nation Northwest Delegation. Hiram Calf Looking currently lives in Seattle, Washington. 

Board Member

Pikunii Blackfeet Nation

RENEE
BREMNER
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Renee’s  Blackfeet name is Holy Mountain Woman.  She met Steven Barrios many years ago while he was a co-chair for the Montana Two Spirit Society.  Hearing stories about the annual Montana two Spirit Gathering, Renee’ became interested and enthralled with the two spirit culture and people.  Upon attending her first Gathering, she met several fascinating people and sparked a personal journey as a two spirit person.  Given Renee’s enthusiasm and volunteer efforts at the Gathering, it wasn’t long before board members asked her to join the board.  As a board member, Renee’ works to ensure that the Montana Gathering remains one of the most successful across Turtle Island.  She currently works with the Montana Office of Public Assistance and is the proud mother of two beautiful children! 

Board Member

Pikunii Blackfeet Nation

RAVEN E. 
HEAVY RUNNER
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Raven is one of the many Two Spirit voices in the western United States, reclaiming a tradition that European colonization had nearly extinguished among Native Americans.  Raven’s personal journey as a board school attendee, Rural reservation child, Seattle Street Kid, U.S. Army Veteran, LGBTQ activist, and college graduate led him to believe he was something else besides just a gay Indian, and he began truly studying the cultures that he lived in. While getting involved in theatre, he also began learning about being a Two-Spirit.  Two Spirit people tended to be identified early and given roles in society that matched their gifts: teachers, healers, nurses, storytellers, sacred name givers, matchmakers, ambassadors, or perhaps keepers of sacred knowledge.  Raven’s role has been as a scholar, an ambassador across cultures, and an important voice in Native communities as he helps to restore indigenous values that emphatically do not include homophobia.  Raven is currently a social worker with the Muckleshoot Tribe in Washington State, and he continues to be active in the revival of Two Spirit awareness nationwide.

Board Member

Pikunii Blackfeet Nation

ROSE 
HEAVY HEAD
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TBD

Board Member

Pikunii Blackfeet Nation