Thursday, April 18, 2024

World’s largest LGBTQAI Native American powwow event announced

The world’s largest public Two-Spirit/LGBTQAI Native American powwow commemorates its 10th Anniversary with a week-long celebration of virtual events, February 2-6, 2021.

Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS) exists to restore and recover the role of Two-Spirit people within the American Indian/First Nations community by creating a forum for the spiritual, cultural and artistic expression of Two-Spirit people.

Photo: Avery White

BAAITS is a volunteer-based organization that established the first and largest public Two-Spirit powwow in the world.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, BAAITS 10th Anniversary Powwow will be held virtually this year with a week-long celebration of events that includes daily panels and workshops, and culminates in the first-ever virtual powwow on Saturday, February 6 featuring ceremonial honor dances, contest dances, and a drum contest.

What is a powwow?: A traditional Native American event that gathers all tribes, as well as inviting non-Native guests to learn more about Native cultures.  Last year, the event welcomed more than 5,000 people at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, CA.

“Two-Spirit” is a Native American term for people with both female and male energies. Two-Spirits may (or may not) also identify as LGBTQ. Traditionally Two-Spirit people often held—and many still hold— honored positions in their Native American and First Nations communities. “Two-Spirit” is a pan-tribal term—it is rooted in the Anishinaabe term describing such individuals: “niizh manidoowag.” This translates literally as “two spirits,” embodying both the feminine and the masculine in all of us. Two-Spirit is an addition, not a replacement term, for Indigenous communities that already have a term to signify gender and sexual orientation variance.

BAAITS Interim Executive Director, Amelia Vigil, welcomes attendees to the powwow saying, “This is a space for all of us to gather respectfully and celebrate our traditions. By Centering the voice of Two-Spirit leadership and vision we honor all those who made it possible for us to be here. Whoever you are and wherever your roots originate, come with kindness, curiosity and humility and you will enjoy the company of like-minded, connected people as we celebrate traditions of music, art, togetherness and the practice of collective healing through artistic and cultural expression.”

At this virtual Powwow all Two-Spirits and LGBTQI people and their allies from all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Central America get a chance to come together to celebrate Native culture, build community, and experience the joy that is baaits 10th anniversary Powwow.

The 10th Annual BAAITS Powwow: February 2-6, 2021; All events are Virtual and times are listed in Pacific Time (PST)​

Tuesday, February 2:

12pm – 2pm  |  Welcome opening 5pm – 7pm  |  Two-Spirit Futurism panel 

Wednesday, February 3:

12pm – 2pm  |  early event TBD5pm – 8pm  |  SNAG Night! – a virtual Two-Spirit mixerwith host Snowflake Calvert (Tseltal Mayan & Yoeme)

Thursday, February 4:

12pm – 2pm  |  Two-Spirit Talking Circle 5pm – 7pm  |  Film Shorts and Literary Reading Nighthosted by Amelia Vigil in partnership with QWOCMAP  

Friday, February 5:

12pm – 3pm  |  Native foods Cooking Demonstrationwith Annie Dittmer (Ho-Chunk) and Esteban Orozco (Wixarika) 3pm – 4:30pm  |  Two-Spirit Self-Care, a conversationwith Lenny Hayes, MA (Dakota) 5pm – 7pm  |  Hand Drum contest 


Saturday, February 6:  

12Pm – 4PM PST (12:00 pm  Grand Entry)​ For start in other time zones: 1PM  – 5PM MST (1pm Grand Entry)​ 2PM- 6PM CST (2PM- Grand Entry) ​4PM- 7PM EST (4PM Grand Entry)

Where: Online. Please visit for updated Zoom links and info.

Cost: Free. Donations are welcome at

Who should attend: Everyone is welcome. This is a family-friendly, clean and sober event.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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