Kwe’! The month of October is Mi’kmaq History Month and Isaac and Cyn had an opportunity to learn A LOT about the 2S in 2SLGBTQ+ on the latest episode of Hey, Cis!.
To here the full episode with Kassidy Bernard (they/them/Nekem) and learn about the pronoun Nekem, two spirit identities with regional intersections and hear a little about Kassidy’s spiritual journey as an artist, healer and magnetic human being, tune-in here!
Kwe’! from Kassidy Bernard:
Kwe’! I’m Kassidy Bernard, an L’nu and Scottish Two-Spirit youth from We’koqma’q. I grew up in Unama’ki, one of the seven ancestral districts of Mi’kma’ki. In my twenty-five years of life, I’ve grown and made connections within my L’nu, Two-Spirit, and creative communities.
I continue to unlearn colonial standards to make room for my L’nu worldview which prioritizes humor, rest, and community care. This is reflected in my relationships; creations in design, illustration, and podcasting; and in my continued learning in body literacy, birthwork, foraging, and whatever else my neurodivergent mind desires!
In addition to being a co-owner of Patuo’kn Illustration and Design , a (beautiful!) illustration and design business, with their older sister Kaylyn, Kassidy holds an elected role as Indigenous Rep for CFS-NS.
“We’koqma’q means Where the Ice Ends, and Unama’ki means Land of the Fog.”
After six years living in Kjipuktuk, and attending NSCAD University, they moved back home. It was in Kjipuktuk that they say they blossomed, and are thankful to the supportive community of friends that formed around them. Kassidy now lives happily at the foot of Apitusa’, the mountain that looks over the lake in We’koqma’q.
Kassidy chatted with us about Pronouns and specifically the Mi’kmaqi pronoun Nekem. They also shared with us what it means to them as a Two Spirit person and the differences and similarities from under the trans umbrella.
For Kassidy, their personal connection to their Two-Spiritedness runs deep.
“I’ve been processing this for a few years now. I actually only recently started using the term because, I mean, sexuality, I started to figure out earlier than gender and I started to question my gender because of meeting other non-binary people… I remember the moment when I realized it was a thing. Like I remember like being introduced to the term non-binary and like and then shortly after Two Spirit…I think it was like Decolonizing Gender and Sexuality, and that was being done by Trina James.”
Kassidy says, Two-Spiritedness is more than simply gender. They explain it as being more spiritual; with a strong community role piece involved.
“I think it’s like… it’s really nice because the way I use it is like connecting with the community and the people that that would understand me best.”
Hey, listeners and readers alike!
We’re inviting you to share with us, in the spirit of learning and growing together, what the word unceded means to you?
- Are you doing anything this October to celebrate Mi’kmaq History Month?
- Email us at email@example.com and in the subject line put: Hey,Cis! October reflection. We’ll read a few responses on the next episode!
Kassidy shared with Isaac and Cyn, some of their favourite ways to connect, learn more and explore Two Spirit and Indigiqueer Communities. And here they are for you!
Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Faves:
- Love After the End by Joshua Whitehead
- Kiskajeyi- I AM READY by Michelle Sylliboy (she’s originally from my community!)
- Two-Spirit Journey by Ma-Nee Chacaby
- A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt
- Any music by Jeremy Dutcher, my favourite song is Mehcinut
- Wildhood film by Bretten Hannam
- MAWITAI’KW is streaming in the FIN festival
- Wabanaki Two-Spirit Alliance (Local org supporting Two-Spirit programming and gatherings.)
Connect with Kassidy:
- Instagram: @kassidyraine
- Facebook: @kassidy.bernard.7
Hey, Cis! is proudly sponsored by TD Bank Group.
The seven districts are:
- Epekwitk aq Piktuk