Duane Morrisseau-Beck is Métis from Crane River, Manitoba Canada. Duane is employed with the federal government in Ottawa, Ontario since 2008. He is as Senior Manager of the Indigenous Men and Boys violence prevention project titled, Walking In Her Moccasins. He has worked with Indigenous communities to ensure their human rights are protected in the areas of health and child welfare at the community, regional, national and international level. Duane was awarded the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, HIV Exceptional Leadership Award (2016) for his dedication, passion, leadership and commitment to the Indigenous AIDS movement in Canada. In 2017, Duane became the first Métis to be part of the Indigenous Fellowship Program offered by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. As a United Nations Indigenous Fellow, Duane presented at the Tenth Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Today, Duane invests his time on national Two-Spirited initiatives, regional/international Indigenous HIV/AIDS work and tackling all types of gender-based violence.
Isadore Boni, BSW of the San Carlos Apache Nation is a HIV Survivor, Educator and Advocate. He was diagnosed with HIV and Hepatitis C on May 2, 2002 in Phoenix, Arizona. He was also “cleared” of Hep C without treatment. Living homelessly in fear, stigma, and secrecy for two years, He went public in 2004 on local tv. Finally a Native face to HIV/AIDS in Phoenix had surfaced. He's done local tv station interviews, front page of the state newspaper, many local and national Native publications, spoke at local schools, keynoted at tribal HIV/AIDS events/conferences, and was on the Advisory Council with the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center. In 2009 he brought HIV education and testing for the first time to his tribe – the San Carlos Apache Tribe in 2009. He ran 8 half marathons and 2 full marathons since 2010 with a shirt that read “AIDS Survivor”. Running continues to be his biggest stigma-breaker and educating people about the possibilities of an HIV/AIDS diagnosis. In 2013 he helped craft his tribe’s health codes by passing a privacy code through the tribal council regarding HIV confidentiality which includes penalties. His journey has been miraculous. He's been helping other Natives to get tested, obtain services and be of support when they need someone to talk to which only another survivor can understand. He's now 51 years old and “aging” with HIV. He has a lot to share and hopes he can be of continued service to others. Pronouns: He/Him/His
Claudette Bryant is of the Shinnecock Nation located in Southhampton, New York. She's the Founder and Executive Director of the GLBT Project. The GLBT Project, Inc. was founded to protect, promote, improve and enhance the health, education, economic and social well being of all Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender & Two Spirit persons. The GLBT Project has marched in the most recent 2018 & 2017 NYC Pride Marches.
Ty Defoe is a Giizhiig, Ojibwe + Onieda Nations Writer, Interdisciplinary Artist + Educator. He states "In shape-shifting, through the arts and social circles, I aspire to bring those who aren’t usually heard to the table. I raise these questions: How can we all utilize our artistic practice to challenge the formulas of privilege? How can creative artists and decision makers challenge their infrastructure to build a new nation of theatre? ...In my Trans* /two-spirit communities, we can use theatremaking tools to express, to heal, to celebrate, and to tell our stories on stages. There is a teaching I received when I was given a sacred hoop dance. It was that we are all connected in this great circle of life. The symbol of the hoop is important because it unifies all living things. In a circle there are no corners in which to hide, and in this circle unifying all living things, we must stand next to and across from each other as equals. Healing, celebrating, telling together, though our stories differ. A new nation of theatre."
Marty Fixico, is a Southern Cheyenne He-ma-ne/Two Spirit via the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was raised as both in Cheyenne and Seminole Baptist traditions. A graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University, he lived nearly 30 years in Washington, DC. In 1983 he became a member of a native gay theater company called First American’s Theater. From that time forward he has witnessed and participated in the growth and changes of the Two Spirit movement over the last 3 decades. He was a founding member of the Washington DC Two Spirit Society and presently serves on bylaws committee of the International Council of Two Spirit Societies started in 2015. He currently lives on the Shoshone-Bannock Reservation in southern Idaho with his children and grandchildren.
Albert McLeod is a Status Indian with ancestry from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Metis community of Norway House in northern Manitoba. He has over thirty years of experience as a human rights activist and is one of the directors of the Two-Spirited People of Manitoba.
Albert began his Two-Spirit advocacy in Winnipeg in 1986 and became an HIV/AIDS activist in 1987. He was the director of the Manitoba Aboriginal AIDS Task Force from 1991 to 2001. In 2018, Albert received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Winnipeg.
Albert lives in Winnipeg, where he works as a consultant specializing in Indigenous peoples, cultural reclamation, and cross-cultural training.
My name is Kent Lebsock and I am of Lakota descent with the Lakota name of Tetuwan Okshila. I am descended from the Beaver First Woman family enrolled at Cheyenne River and was given the Lakota name of Tetuwan Okshila by Chief Garfield Grass Rope of the Kul Wicasa Oyate, Lower Brule. I have worked for Indigenous human, civil, and ecological rights since about 1990, shortly after moving to New York City and being introduced to the urban Indian population of that city. I was honored to work with Curtis Harris Davia on the first HIV/AIDS project for Native peoples at the American Indian Community House in NYC and in other two-spirit activities including WeWah Barcheampe and the Northeast Two-Spirit Society. I also served as the programs administrator and executive director of the American Indian Law Alliance for more than a decade. The Law Alliance focused its energies on the international human rights of Indigneous peoples and I was blessed to be a part of drafting elements of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigneous Peoples in association with my Lakota leadership and Haudenosaunee allies. After my tenure at the Law Alliance i shifted my focus to grass roots and community activism on our territories in present-day South Dakota, in particular the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Working with Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way, has given me the opportunity to be both of service to my people while learning the ancient ways of our culture with respect to the natural world and the environment. I continue to work in cultural preservation and environmental justice on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation while splitting my year between Denver, where I care for my 93 year old father, and Porcupine on the Pine Ridge. I believe that service to the Oyate (nation, people) is our highest responsibility and honor. Wopila.
Leota Lone Dog (Lakota Sioux)
Muriel Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock) is a choreographer, director and actor, a two spirit Native elder, born in Brooklyn, NY to a Kuna father from Kuna Yala and a Rappahannock mother from Virginia. She is truly a "city" Indian. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Spiderwoman Theater, the longest running Indigenous feminist theater in North America. Muriel is a 2018 Doris Duke Artist and a 2016 John S. Guggenheim Fellow. She received an Honorary DFA from Miami University in Ohio; is a member of the National Theatre Conference and attended the Rauschenberg Residency in 2015. As an educator, for 15 years, she taught and directed a yearly production at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT) in Toronto and was Program Director for CIT's three week summer intensive at Trent University and the University of Lethbridge. She was a Program Director for the Aboriginal Dance Program at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and also an instructor there for seven years. She is a pioneer in the development of an Indigenous performance methodology and is active in the training of Indigenous actors and dancers in this culturally based method. She is a former member of the American Indian Community House Board of Directors where she served as Chairman in the 1970's.