American Indian, Alaska native, and Canadian aboriginal two-spirit/LGBT elderly

Debra A. Harley, Reginald J. Alston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the status of older two-spirit American Indian, Alaska Native, and Canadian Aboriginal two-spirit LGBT elders. Information is presented on traditional values and behaviors, two-spirit tradition and roles of elders in tribal communities, service utilization by two-spirit elders, systems of service delivery, and policy implications. The authors acknowledge the heterogeneity of these groups and do not presume uniformity across groups. Similarity, the term LGBT is used as the modern roughly equivalent of the Native term two-spirit. A brief background of two-spirit is included to provide the reader with an understanding of the history and significance of self-identity that is implicit in how two-spirit persons refer to themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of LGBT Elders
Subtitle of host publicationAn Interdisciplinary Approach to Principles, Practices, and Policies
EditorsDebra A Harley, Pamela B Teaster
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783319036236
ISBN (Print)9783319036229
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alaskalve
  • American indian
  • Canadian aboriginal two-spirit
  • LGBT elderly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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