A sweeping history of Indigenous traditions of gender, sexuality, and resistance that reveals how, despite centuries of colonialism, Two-Spirit people are reclaiming their place in Native nations.
Reclaiming Two-Spirits decolonizes the history of gender and sexuality in Native North America. It honors the generations of Indigenous people who had the foresight to take essential aspects of their cultural life
and spiritual beliefs underground in order to save them.
Drawing on written sources, archaeological evidence, art, and oral storytelling, Reclaiming Two-Spirits spans the centuries from Spanish invasion to the present, tracing massacres and inquisitions and revealing how the authors of colonialism’s written archives used language to both denigrate and erase Two-Spirit people from history. But as Gregory Smithers shows, the colonizers failed—and Indigenous resistance is core to this story. Reclaiming Two-Spirits amplifies their voices, reconnecting their history to Native nations in the 21st century.