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`Everybody has a place to belong’: Tla o qui aht provides safe space for their two spirit, LGBTQ+, and Indigiqueer members

By Alexandra Mehl  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Tofino, BC- The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is hosting the upcoming Trauma and Resiliency, Two-spirit/LGBTQ+/Indigiqueer workshop to address the compounded issues that members of the community face. Diane Labelle, a researcher and trainer for two-spirit/LGBTQ+ issues and one of the facilitators for the workshop, said, “Colonization has really done a big number on us. I mean, residential schools, new ideas, new values, that have led us to move away from our central values, such as the inclusiveness of people.” Norine Messer, Tla-o-qui-aht’s capacity building coordinator, said that traditionally two-spirit folks were welcomed and respected in Nuu-chah-nulth communities. The social norms that lack acceptance are accompanied with colonization and are what have created compounded oppression that LGBTQ+, two-spirited and Indigiqueer people face. “What we’re doing is

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