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Their mates were not considered ikwekaazo or ininiikaazo, however, because their function in society was still in keeping with their sex. Both were considered to be strong spiritually, and they were always honoured, especially during ceremonies.

If widowed, the spouse of an ikwekaazo or ininiikaazo could remarry someone of the opposite sex or another ikwekaazo or ininiikaazo. to identify an indigenous individual fulfilling one of many mixed gender roles in their tribe, but that term has now fallen out of favor.

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Unfortunately, depending on an oral tradition to impart our ways to future generations opened the floodgates for early non-Native explorers, missionaries, and anthropologists to write books describing Native peoples and therefore bolstering their own role as experts.

These writings were and still are entrenched in the perspective of the authors who were and are mostly white men.

While existing terminology in many nations shows historical acknowledgement of differing sexual orientations and gender expressions, members of some these nations have also said that while variance was accepted, they never had separate or defined roles for these members of the community.

[In Ojibwe cultures] Sex usually determined one's gender, and therefore one's work, but the Ojibwe accepted variation.

Additionally, not all contemporary Indigenous communities are supportive of their gender-variant and non-heterosexual people now.

In these communities, those looking for two-spirit community have sometimes faced oppression and rejection.Already there is so much of First Nations culture that has been exploited and appropriated in this country; must our terms of resistance also be targeted for mainstream appropriation and consumption?Two-spirited is a reclaimed term designed by Aboriginals to define our unique cultural context, histories, and legacy.Men who chose to function as women were called ikwekaazo, meaning 'one who endeavors to be like a woman.' Women who functioned as men were called ininiikaazo, meaning, 'one who endeavors to be like a man.' The French called these people berdaches.Ikwekaazo and ininiikaazo could take spouses of their own sex.Two-Spirit (also two spirit or, occasionally, twospirited) is a modern, pan-Indian, umbrella term used by some indigenous North Americans to describe certain people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender (or other gender-variant) role in their cultures.

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