The E2S Board of Directors is happy to announce and wishes the community to join us in welcoming E2S’ new Community Liaison, Cheyenne Mihko Kihêw. Through the successful grant application to the Department of Women & Gender Equality (WAGE), E2S received Community Capacity Funds to build greater capacity and stronger networks of 2SLGBTQ+ community organizations to advance 2SLGBTQ+ equality across Canada. Cheyenne will be providing advocacy for community members that need support for their mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing by creating and implementing innovative programs, events, celebrations and ceremonies for 2SLGBTQ+ community to access. Cheyenne joins E2S with a wealth of knowledge and experience and will additionally coordinate fundraising activities, manage community public relations, and provide outreach to the community to promote E2S and the mission, “To re-establish and enhance our traditional roles and responsibilities as Two-Spirit people in Indigenous communities while creating supportive environments within all societies for contemporary Two-Spirit peoples.”
Cheyenne Mihko Kihêw (all pronouns) is a 2-Spirit nehiyaw, born and raised in amiskwacîwâskahikan. As a grandchild of Residential School survivors, Cheyenne grew up outside of their own culture and has a background of adversity and resilience. They are on a journey of cultural reclamation to learn the traditional teachings and nehiyawewin language that was lost in his immediate family due to the impacts of colonization. Through her own lived experiences with substance abuse and street involvement, Cheyenne saw first-hand the power of community and how essential front-line work is for folks accessing services. This ignited a passion for community-based work, leading Cheyenne to become involved in different organizations nationally and locally. Cheyenne was involved in various Canada World Youth Indigenous-focused projects as a volunteer and a supervisor in Peru and Nicaragua. She spent several years working with Old Strathcona Youth Society, most prominently as the agency’s inaugural Indigenous Resource Coordinator. Cheyenne graduated from MacEwan University from the Bachelor of Arts program with a Major in Sociology. Following graduation, Cheyenne joined the Prevention and Education team with HIV Edmonton as the gbMSM lead, a role that afforded them the privilege of incorporating many of her personal passions into her work. Over the last 18 months, he has worked with the 2SLGBTQ+ community by developing educational resources and delivering programs on HIV/STBBI prevention, health promotion, and support using an equity lens. They are the current Chair of the Board of Directors for the Boyle Street Education Centre, their former high school to which they accredit much of their achievements. Cheyenne is unapologetic in their identity as a fat Indigi-queer femme. She follows a life motto of “Aspire to Inspire”, reminding her to always do her best to be a good human and to empower others to live in their truest and most authentic selves.
A brief message from the Community Liaison:
“It is my honour to join the Edmonton 2 Spirit Society as a Community Liaison. I am eager to build upon the foundational work laid by E2S, while assisting with the advancement of the organization in this exciting new phase. Through this role, it is my hope to strengthen the relationship between E2S and the local 2Spirit community. I will strive to be a useful source of information and support while creating opportunities for growth through ceremony, education, and peer guidance. As a Two-Spirit person, I recognize the struggles of reconnecting with cultural knowledge so it will be crucial for me to do my best to bridge the gap created by colonization. I look forward to serving the community and to continuing the important vision created by E2S.”
Cheyenne Mihko Kihêw, BA (she/they/he)
Edmonton 2 Spirit Society