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What is New Horizons?

New Horizons for 2S-LGBTQ+ Older Adults is committed to lessening the social isolation experienced by this population through the creation of online and in-person social and support opportunities, educational workshops and culturally relevant programming. Our team is committed to community building, inclusion across identities, and the creation of spaces where all people on the 2S-LGBTQ+ spectrum feel welcome, heard, and honoured.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program is a Pan-Canadian project funded by Employment and Social Canada. The New Horizons for 2S-LGBTQ+ Older Adults program is Central and Northern Ontario specific, servicing the Simcoe/Muskoka, North Bay, and Sudbury areas. Participating agencies include Gilbert Centre and Mamaway Wiikdokdaadwin, AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area and the North Bay Indigenous Hub, and Reseau Access Network and Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy. Coming together as a larger team allows for community building across regions, and a larger network of support for the vast geographical area that we serve.

Older Adults Programming

Our Older Adults programming is currently online only. We offer weekly social and support meetings, webinars, one-on-one check-ins, assistance in connecting you to outside resources, and more! Once it is safe for us to gather in-person again, we will continue to offer our virtual services to further enhance our programs. Check out our Facebook for announcements about in-person programming. Our Older Adults programming is open to all who fit the program criteria and wish to connect. 


While everyone is welcome, there will occasionally be programming specifically for those who identify as Two-Spirit or Indigenous LGBTQ+. 

Current Programming

Older & Bolder

Older & Bolder North is a social and support group for 2S-LGBTQ+ adults who are 55 and older. The need to connect is greater than ever before with COVID-19 trying its best to keep us isolated, and we are happy to provide a safe, judgement-free space to be out, proud, and social!

 

Coffee & Chats

Coffee and Chats is an informal virtual drop-in social group for those who identify as older adults (55+) within the 2S-LGBTQ+ community and their Allies. Meetings will be held virtually through Zoom (phone, tablet, computer with microphone and/or camera needed). A link for the group will be provided upon registry.

Phone Check-In Chats

 

During these tough times of social distancing and lockdowns, we’re offering over-the-phone socializing for an hour each week. You pick the time, you pick the topic, we’re just here to listen!

 

 

Knowledge Sharing

 

We will be providing knowledge sharing or a workshop every month focused on the Indigenous culture and language.

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Who We Are

Evan M
Ashley
Ashley D
Brandon M
Phoenix
Phoenix W
Leisha
Leisha N

Two-Spirit Outreach Programming

As Two-Spirit Outreach Workers, our goals are to:

  • Work with existing organizations and institutions to train on Two-Spirit awareness, and to create a safer space for Two-Spirit people to be able to go to these places for support/ resources. This includes working with local communities to build and maintain strong capacity to respond to the needs of Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ older adults.
  • Increase access to health and social services for Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ older adults.
  • Act as a resource on issues of sexuality, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, racism, sexual orientation and gender identity as it relates to Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ older adults.
  • Provide a safe environment to express concerns about sexual orientation, assist in increasing self-esteem and decrease any internalized homophobia among Two-Spirit or Indigenous LGBTQ+ older adults.
  • Be a resource for the community to break down barriers of the intersections of issues that relate to Two-Spirit people such as racism, homophobia, and many other disadvantages.
  • Develop health promotion workshops and social activities for Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ older adults in a manner that promotes empowerment on a variety of engaging topics.
  • Create exciting, accessible programming that meets the needs of the Two-Spirit community and creates a supportive network within community and out.

What Does Two-Spirit Mean?

The term Two-spirit came from the Third Annual Intertribal Native American/First Nations Gay and Lesbian Conference in Winnipeg in 1990. Two-Spirit is used as a Pan-Indian term to describe Indigenous people who traditionally assumed or crossed multiple gender roles and held great importance within their communities. While many nations had their own terms for Two-Spirit people, historically this role can be seen differently in different cultures and nations. 

 

Some people use the term as a form of decolonization – taking back their cultures and traditions. They identify with this term in community and hold different responsibilities as a Two-Spirit person. However, not all Indigenous people take on this identity and instead use modern terms from the Western LGBT+ spectrum. They may also use Two-Spirit as an Indigenous version of the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

 

Because this term was brought to Indigenous people to reclaim their roles within community, it is extremely important to note that Two-Spirit is an identity only for Indigenous people. 

About the Logo

The Seniors Program Coordinators and the Two-Spirit Outreach Workers collectively created the logo for the New Horizons 2S-LGBTQ+ Seniors Project. With the very talented graphic design skills of Leisha Neuman (Two-Spirit Coordinator – OAHAS) we were able to have this in complete form. The collective intentionally chose imagery that would speak to the Indigenous community while not being overtly Indigenous to people outside of this community. We wanted to ensure that Indigenous people knew they were welcome in the program and that they were a priority while also allowing non-Indigenous folk to feel comfortable accessing these services as well without feeling as though they were taking up space in a program that was not designed for them. Striking this balance was a priority for us which is why we chose the following imagery:

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