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Two-Spirit Papers

Identifier: Tretter: 308

Scope and Content

The Two-Spirits Papers includes manuscript, visual, and digital materials. Topical coverage is given over to general Two-Spirit issues, the representation of Native Americans in the national GLBT community, gender identity, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and the organizational records of the American Indian Gay and Lesbian Center in Minneapolis, MN. Manuscript materials include event flyers, publications (full magazines, newsletters, and booklets, as well as clipped articles), correspondence (from private individuals, inmates, and organizations), fundraising materials, and posters. Visual materials include photos of fundraising events and several enclosures from different correspondents. Digital media includes several floppy disks. The artifacts within the collection are largely ceremonial and include packets of loose tobacco, sage, cedar needles, and a woven basket. Three folders contain relevant materials to the trans community and are marked with an asterisk (*) in the folder list below.

Many of the folders in the collection were given folder numbers in the upper right-hand corner as part of a previous inventory of the collection. Users are advised that these numbers are not part of the current organization and should be ignored


  • 1937-2013, undated


Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Restrictions on Access

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Material related to lawsuits present in the Richard LaFortune (Anguksuar) 2015 Accession are restricted until the year 2045.

Restrictions on Use

Please contact staff regarding copyright status of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under fair use provisions of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

Biographical Sketch or Historical Note

“Two-Spirit” is the umbrella term used by Native Americans to describe GLBT and gender variant individuals and communities. It is often extended to cover the spectrum of the GLBT Native American community and introduces a commonality across tribal boundaries. There are a number of extremely active Two-Spirit organizations across the United States. These organizations focus on issues such as STD and HIV prevention and treatment, drug and alcohol addiction, marriage equality, and gender identity.

The collection is composed of three separate accessions by West Coast Native American GLBT activist Randy Burns, the Minnesota Men of Color organization, and Richard LaFortune (Anguksuar). Anguksuar is a local Twin Cities Native American artist and activist. In the mid-1980s, he formed the American Indian Gays and Lesbians Resource Center and played a pivotal role in organizing many of the Two-Spirit International Gatherings throughout the 1990s. He is currently active in public health and native language revitalization advocacy.


19 Linear Feet (19 record cartons)


The Two-Spirit Papers includes paper records, visual materials, artifacts, and digital media from several different accessions. These records document a local Two-Spirit organization (American Indian Gays and Lesbians), as well as the personal experiences of GLBT activists from the Native American community.


The Two-Spirit Papers, 1937-2007, undated are arranged in the original order of the separate accessions, with each accession represented as a Series:
  1. Series 1: Richard La Fountain (Anguksuar) Accession, 1937-2007, undated.
  2. Series 2: Richard LaFortune (Anguksuar) 2015 Accession, 1974-2013
  3. Series 3: Randy Burns Accession, 1983-2005, undated.
  4. Series 4: Minnesota Men of Color Accession, 1987-2002, undated.

Source of acquisition

The Two-Spirit Papers, 1937-2007, undated is an aggregated collection composed of materials from four separate accessions.

Related Materials

Minnesota Men of Color, Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis.

Randy Burns papers. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

Processing Information

The collection was processed over the course of 2012 and 2014 by Tom Weaver and Amanda Wick, respectively.
Two-Spirit Papers, 1937-2007, undated.
Tom Weaver and Amanda Wick
June 2014
Language of description
Finding Aid Written In English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Jean Nickolaus Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies Collecting Area