Arnold Dahl-Wooley Explains
The Two-Spirit Tradition
RLNC’s featured speaker for the Monday gathering October 16 was Arnold Dahl-Wooley, who spoke about the “two-spirit” tradition in Ojibwe culture.
Arnold stated that it is important to note that the term "two-spirit" has only existed since the 1990s, but the idea behind it has always existed in Native culture. Two-spirit people are considered some of the most sacred people in a native community.
The two-spirited person is a tradition that researchers have identified in some of the earliest discoveries of Native artifacts. There is evidence that indicates that Native people believed in the existence of cross-gender roles, even before colonization, and that is what we now call the two-spirited person.
Arnold and his partner Matthew hold the honor of being the first gay couple to be recognized by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. They were married on the Leech Lake reservation in 2013.
Arnold does advocate work for the LGBTQ two-spirit community and serves as board chair for Leech Lake Tribal College.
Arnold noted that two-spirit members were respected and often held special positions within the tribal community.
The RLNC Drum Group sang and played at the beginning of the Monday gathering: Brandan Strong, Wesley Jourdain, and James Cloud III.
Student Council Changes
Name of the Organization
The RLNC Student Council has officially changed its name to the RLNC Student Government. President Wes Jourdain indicated that the new name better reflects the purpose of the organization and its most important responsibility, which is “to engage in and/or coordinate activities necessary for the purpose of advocating and supporting endeavors by the Student Members or by RLNC, providing that such endeavors focus on promoting quality in American Indian Higher Education.”
All students are encouraged to attend the Student Government’s monthly meetings. Wes encourages everyone to join in discussions and let your voice be heard. Volunteer and get involved with student activities throughout the year. For example, Student Government is sponsoring a traditional feast the end of November for Native American Heritage Month. Join in on the fun!
Watch for dates and times which are posted a week ahead of all meetings.