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Education The Lac du Flambeau Curriculum

Gender Identity & Gender Expression

In Native ontology generally, not only do we need to show respect for non-human forms of life but all forms of life are worthy of respect and inclusion.

Gender is understood in a less binary (he/she) fashion. Rigid categorization is not normal. People can identify as 2-spirit beings, while being male- or female-bodied.

Native gender ontology differs from the Judeo-Christian origination story that was introduced into what would become the United States through settler ideology (Woman was born from the rib of man).

Instead, gender is multiple and the product of place.

Eurocentric epistemology includes certain powerful mechanisms for controlling people’s practice:

  • categorization
  • standardization
  • dividing
  • normalizing practices

In terms of gender, many Native people have developed gender identities and expressions that have been impacted by and assimilated into Eurocentric/settler ideology.

Since the first colonization, this development over time over time has resulted in some indigenous people struggling with their gender identities and expression.

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