Harlan Pruden (First Nations Cree)
NorthEast Two-Spirit Society, New York City
As we have heard over and over since the release of the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy, resources must follow the disease and the data. This does not hold true for the male Two-Spirit community and as a result our young male Two-Spirits will pay the heaviest toll.
Nationally, the male Two-Spirit community is bearing the brunt of this disease, accounting for over 50 percent of new cases in the Native community. If the spigot is ever opened (a dream at this point), resources need to be culturally appropriate and promote and reclaim our people's culture. If it does not, then the non-Native approaches, programs and services are today's colonizing tools.
The harsh reality is we are the indigenous peoples of this land. The time is now for the resources to begin to flow to the many unfunded Two-Spirit organizations and this community. Anything less is unconscionable.