What is Two Spirit? Understanding gender and gender diverse cultures. 

Download the full resource document for inter-active resources included in the lesson below.   

Two-spirit teen

Two-spirit banner

To understand the use of the term two spirit we first need to understand gender.

Gender identity and sex assigned at birth are two different things and it is important to know that gender is how you feel about yourself and your identity.

Sex assigned at birth is simply the sex assignment given at birth. Watch this quick video for an intro about gender identities.

gender identity qr-code

Watch this video for an intro about gender identities by using the QR Code

Geo Neptune qr-code

Let's find out what being two spirited means from Geo Neptune, a two spirit person using the QR code.

Can non-Indigenous people identify as two spirit?


Two spirit is an Indigenous term rooted in Indigenous traditions and culture.

It embodies more than a gender identity but also a spiritual significance and can only be used by Indigenous people.

male female sign and computer

Many cultures around the world had multiple genders. Through colonization many cultures were forced to accept two genders: male and female.

We invite you to do to a research project to explore some of the other cultures around the world that have multiple or different gender identities.

Use the interactive map and select a point that you would like to research, and then provide your findings on the research page attached.

Once completed, e-mail us the research as a PDF for a chance to win a prize pack!


What is the name of the gender identity?

What is the culture where this gender identity exists?

What is the geographic location of the this culture?

Does this culture still celebrate/accept this gender identity? Why or why not?

Is there a specific role or traits that are tied to this gender identity?

Prior to colonization, two spirit people were held in high regard and were considered sacred. Colonialism taught the opposite; that different was wrong and there were only two genders. What are some ways that society can change the future so that people of all gender identities can live without fear and judgement?