SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A new program in Sioux Falls is spreading awareness and support for Native American LGBTQ+ communities.
South Dakota Urban Indian health’s new program is called “Two Spirits and LGBTQ+ group.”
“I think we saw a need to create space for LGBTQ+ and two-spirit people in Sioux Falls,” said April Matson, Coordinator & Administrative Assistant for SDUIH.
The support group is a safe space for Native people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community to gather.
‘We really wanted to make sure that our two-spirit and trans, non-binary people felt like we were here for them too,” Dylan Daniels, Coordinator & Cultural Health Nurse at SDUIH
Non-native communities and allies are also welcome to attend.
“We want to include two-spirit into this group because it’s a way of acknowledging two-spirit people and the genocide that took place during colonization, it’s our way of healing intergenerational trauma,” Matson said.
Each meeting includes native cultural activities like bead making, smudging and singing, to continue traditions and educate the community.
“It’s really awesome to see all the support for a group like this, really affirms it’s a needed group in our community,” Daniels said.
“Building a community, sharing stories with one another, sharing our experiences with one another and validating that, you know that’s how you grow and empower people,” Matson said.
The next meeting will take place on April 13th, from 6 to 7:30, at the South Dakota Urban Indian Health Downtown location.