You are invited to join us for the 8th Annual Two-Spirit Powwow.
On Saturday February 2, 2019, the 8th Annual Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS) Two-Spirits Powwow will be held at Fort Mason Center For Arts And Culture, San Francisco, California, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM with featured dancers making their Grand Entry at 12:00 PM. This event is free and open to the public. This year BAAITS is celebrating our 20th Anniversary. BAAITS is the first established and largest Two-Spirit powwow in the world.
A powwow is a traditional Native American event that gathers all tribes as well as inviting non-Native guests to learn more about Native cultures. Last year the event welcomed more than 5,000 people and an even larger crowd is expected this year. Vendors will be on site selling frybread, buffalo burgers, Native art and jewelry, and other crafts. This powwow features several hours of ceremonial honor dances, contest dances, and a drum contest; all powwow dancers and drums are welcome.
“Two-Spirit” is a Native American term for people with both female and male energies. Two-Spirits may (or may not) also identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Traditionally Two-Spirits often held—and many still hold— honored positions in their Native American and First Nations communities. “Two-Spirit” is a pan-tribal term—it is rooted in the Anishinaabe term describing such individuals: “niizh manidoowag.” This translates literally as “two spirits”- embodying both the feminine and the masculine in all of us.
BAAITS Board Chair Amelia Vigil welcomes attendees to the powwow saying, “This is a space for all of us to gather respectfully and celebrate Native traditions. Whether you are African-American, Native American, White, gay, straight, transgender, whoever you are and wherever your roots originated, come with curiosity and kindness and you will enjoy the company of 5,000 like-minded good and connected people as we celebrate traditions of music and art and togetherness.”
Powwow Coordinator Derek Smith adds, “This powwow is a labor of love for our community. For some Native community members it’s a reminder of the traditional roles of Two-Spirits in our community- as gatherers of people, holders of traditional, connectors and supporters. It's an exceptionally powerful opportunity for healing.”
At this powwow all Two-Spirits and LGBTQI people and their allies from all over the U.S. and Canada get a chance to come together to celebrate Native culture, build community, and express themselves.
The powwow features several head dancers who will honor the event as leaders:
Carla Munoz (Costanoan Rumsen, Carmel)
Dessiree Munoz (Costanoan Rumsen, Carmel)
Clyde Hall (Shoshone Métis)
Sage Runsabove (Shawnee, Ponca, Otoe and Lakota)
Head Gourd dancer:
Matthew Reed (Osage/Laguna Pueblo)
Eric Kimple (Blackfeet)
Marc Goggles-Keka (Wichita & Affiliated Tribes)
Northern Drum: Blue Medicine Well
Southern Drum: Southern Pride
L. Frank Manriquez (Tongva-Acjachemen)
Coy McLemore (Kiowa)
Some of our head staff and drums:
Clyde M. Hall: Born and raised on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, Idaho. In the late 1960s he was a founding member of Gay American Indians,the first organization of it kind.He served as Lawyer and Judge for his tribe in Idaho for 25 years. Although now retired, he still serves as a member of the Judicial Council for his tribe in Idaho. He also serves as Director for a 501-C3 Non Profit ,the Naraya Cultural Preservation Council (NCPC) which is devoted to the preservation and continuation of Great Basin Tribal Traditions, Culture and Ceremony.
A traditional crafts artist and Pow Wow dancer of note, he is also a recognized published authority, lecturer & author on Great Basin, Plateau tribal cultures and Two Spirit philosophy. He is most happy and honored to be invited to serve as one of the head staff at the 2018 BAAITS Two Spirit Pow Wow and event he has supported and participated in for many years.
Sage Runsabove Aka Sage Chanell: Born in Ada, Oklahoma raised in Little Axe, Oklahoma. Sage served as Miss International Two Spirit 2016-2017. Currently, Sage is the co-chair of the Central Oklahoma Two Spirit Society. And is honored to be asked as a head dancer at BAAITS Two-Spirit Powwow.
Matthew Reed: From the Pueblo of Laguna and Osage tribes. Reed is a former member of the Denver Two-Spirit Society, known collectively as the Denver Divas. General Manager of a native owned and operated restaurant called Tocabe, An American Indian Eatery. Reed feels blessed to be a part of the eighth annual event and would like congratulate BAAIT-S on 20 years working in the San Francisco community.
Blue Medicine Well singers started in the summer of 2015 at a powwow in Chinle, AZ. We are from Gallup, NM with singers from various tribes. Navajo, Zuni Pueblo, Kiowa and Jemez Pueblo. Our members consist of singers that have been singing with other groups at a young age. Through the years we came together to form our own drum group. Most of us have been singing our whole lives and the circle and the drum brought us closer together to where we no longer are friends but we became family.
Southern Pride Drum will be traveling from Jay, Oklahoma. The group’s members are Two-Spirit singers and drummers and their families. The drum is a constant to the BAAITS Powwow from the very first celebration. Now in its eighth year, the drum returns to its home away from home in San Francisco and the ever expanding family awaits them.
Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS) is a community-based volunteer organization offering culturally relevant activities for Native Americans identifying as Two-Spirit and their allies.
Details for the 8th Annual BAAITS Powwow in San Francisco:
When: February 2nd, 2019, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Where: Fort Mason Center For Arts And Culture, 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94115
Cost: Free, donations welcome at the door or at www.baaits.org/donate
Parking: Pay lot on site, limited free street parking off site. Elders parking - Limited availability, first come, first parked.
Who should attend: Everyone is welcome. This is a family-friendly, clean and sober event. Street attire is encouraged for non-Natives. Please leave costumes at home. This event is wheelchair-accessible.