Subject: IMPORTANT: NEW handout from SSC - Referendum 74 is impacting Washington students; Action Alert from Advocates for Youth; Resource: Two Spirit/LGBT Rights Toolkit for Tribal Governments
From: Gabi Clayton ~ Safe Schools Coalition <>
Date: 10/1/2012 9:38 PM

Dear Safe Schools Coalition Members and Friends:

(1) NEW handout from Safe Schools Coalition - Referendum 74 is impacting Washington students.

(2) Action Alert from Advocates for Youth - Join us in taking action for sex education!
Note: We are sharing this action item because we believe it is an issue Safe Schools Coalition members and friends may be interested in.
If you have opinion about it, please let your voice be heard.

(3) Resource: Two Spirit/LGBT Rights Toolkit for Tribal Governments Introduced - available November 1


(1) NEW handout from Safe Schools Coalition - Referendum 74 is impacting Washington students.
Referendum 74 is impacting Washington students. Your student’s deserve access to information, a caring and safe learning environment and your support. What if I’m not so sure about Referendum 74 myself? What steps can I take to support students? Where can I get more resources, lesson ideas? This is from Safe Schools Coalition with thanks to Minnesota School OUTreach Coalition  for permission to adapt the document they created to help Minnesota teachers help their students during this election season. Download here: (pdf format)

See that handout and our other resources related to Marriage Equality on this page of Safe Schools Coalition's website:

(2)  Action Alert from Advocates for Youth - Join us in taking action for sex education!
From: Sarah Audelo, Advocates for Youth []
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2012 7:37 AM
Subject: Join us in taking action for sex education!

Today, more than 100 youth activists from across the country are on Capitol Hill asking their Members of Congress to support the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act - a forward-thinking comprehensive sexual health education bill that will give young people the information they need to make responsible decisions about their sexual health.

Will you join them in asking your Representatives to do the same?

Young people have the right to lead healthy lives. But, for too long, too many young people have been denied life-saving information about HIV or fed fear- and shame-based propaganda about sex and relationships. And we've seen the results. The United States is one of the most sexually unhealthy nations in the developed world, with high rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Take action now! Ask your Representatives to support the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act!

Enough is enough. Our nation's youth deserve better.

Sarah Audelo
Senior Manager of Domestic Policy
Advocates for Youth

(3)  Resource: Two Spirit/LGBT Rights Toolkit for Tribal Governments Introduced - available November 1

Two Spirit/LGBT Rights Toolkit for Tribal Governments Introduced

By Gale Courey ToensingSeptember 26, 2012

A first-of-its-kind guide complete with sample legal language is now available for tribal governments to adopt or amend their laws to recognize the rights of all their citizens, including Two Spirit and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

The “Tribal Equity Toolkit: Tribal Resolutions and Codes to Support Two Spirit and LGBT Justice in Indian Country” made its debut on September 26 when it was introduced to delegates at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians’ 59th Annual Fall Convention at the Wild Horse Resort & Casino in Pendleton, Oregon.

“Our hope is to begin to construct a cohesive narrative about Two Spirit & LGBT Natives within our own Tribal communities and for those stories to compel us to take action,” said Se-ah-dom Edmo, director of the Indigenous Ways of Knowing Program at Lewis & Clark College, which developed the toolkit in partnership with the Native American Program of Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon and the Western States Center. The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians supported the work.

Edmo said inspiration for the project came from the landmark decisions by the Coquille Tribe and the Suquamish Tribe recognizing same sex marriage in 2008 and 2011, respectively.

The comprehensive toolkit is packed with legal information and structured around the categories of Family; Employment; Education’ Health Care/End of Life; and Bias-Motivated (Hate) Crimes. Each category is broken subjects. Family, for example, is broken into Marriage, Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions, Children, Child Custody and Visitation, and Child Welfare. Each section includes one or more sample resolutions. Marriage, for example, includes the Tribal Resolution in Support of Two Spirit Equality and the Freedom to Marry and a Marriage Equality Ordinance.”

In addition, Basic Rights produced an eight-minute video called “Our Families: LGBT Two Spirit Stories” featuring the personal stories of LGBT tribal members. In the video Phillip Hillarie, a Lummi Nation citizen, advises, “Any Two Spirit person who is able and willing to come out, I would encourage them to reach to their elders. I want young people to keep hold of their families, who can help them to build that hope and trust in who they are.”

Also, the organizations also produced a two-page flier called “Why Marriage Matters” that supports a Washington state ballot initiative – Referendum 74 – upholding same sex marriage that goes before voters in November.

Robert Kentta, a Siletz Tribe citizen, council member and Cultural Resources Director, provides an eloquent foreword to the toolkit. He delineates the historic wrongs by which the dominant culture treated Indigenous Peoples as less than human – stolen lands, genocide, introduced diseases, children snatched and placed in hateful “institutions of assimilation.” Having been wronged, Kentta writes, “all of us…have a strong sense of what social justice is and what it should look like.” Two spirit people have special roles in the communities, cultures and ceremonial life, Kentta says. “Our people were strong and beautiful in our traditional understanding of life, and that we all have different gifts. Two Spirit indicates an ability to see the world from both male and female perspectives and to bridge the world of male and female. The concept of balance is important in our traditional views, and balance can be between individuals or groups or within a particular individual. Two Spirit captures that concept of balance within an individual.” Noting that Two Spirit people have been “invisibilized and stigmatized” he says tribes now have a chance to “protect and preserve Two Spirit and LGBT narratives as an essential piece to preservation of our cultures.” The toolkit provides tribal governments the opportunity to reflect on how they are either perpetuating policies that are damaging to the community or policies and laws that uphold and demonstrate a commitment to justice and equity as enduring community values, Kentta says. “The work compiled here – with love and understanding, is just what it says it is – a toolkit. It does not dictate, it does not ask anything of you but to read it and decide what you believe in, and what core principles you stand for. It gives our communities another set of tools for restoring ourselves.”

The free toolkit will be available November 1 on the website of the Indigenous Ways of Knowing Program.



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