Short Films: Two-Spirit affirming care with the Urban Native Youth Association

Two Indigenous youths have their backs to the camera and are looking at a red, white, black, and yellow medicine wheel on the wall with the words "Elder, Adult, Youth, and Child" written in it.
image credit / Drawing Wisdom

About the videos

Access to gender-affirming, trauma-informed, and culturally safe health care saves lives. Alongside the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA) and the 2-spirit Collective, we’ve created a series of videos about what gender-affirming and culturally safe health care means and why it matters to Two-Spirit Indigenous youth.

Drawing on learnings from the 2021/2022 Gender Equality Report Card, the videos illustrate the importance of health services grounded in respect, non-discrimination, and self-determination. They call for reliable, accessible, and safe services that uphold BC’s obligations to Two-Spirit and queer Indigenous youth, including expanded wholistic supports.

Being affirmed in one’s gender is crucial for everyone’s wellness. Gender-affirming and culturally safe care is not only about access to treatments like hormones or surgery. It’s about knowing your identity is respected, that you are safe, and that health practitioners see you for who you are – a whole person comprised of mind, body, and spirit.

Short film 1: Your Community is Here for You

Short film 2: Two-Spirit Kin are the Medicine We Need

Take action for Two-Spirit youth

    • Join UNYA and West Coast LEAF in calling for a wholistic, youth-led, and cross-government approach to ensure that all youth have access to gender-affirming health and mental health care, including:
      • Investing in life-saving gender affirming care
      • Ending gender-based discrimination
      • Investing in Indigenous-led and youth-led community-based services.
    • Share the reels in your community and on social media:
    • Add your voice to these powerful calls to action by endorsing the advocacy statement from the UNYA 2-Spirit Collective!

    Emotional and legal support

    West Coast LEAF is not a legal clinic. We do not offer legal advice, direct services, advocacy, or representation for individuals. Below are support resources in BC for Two-Spirit youth.

    Toll-free phone: 1-800-588-8717

    24/7 crisis support and listening for Indigenous peoples in BC.

    UNYA’s clinical counsellors offer individual counselling to Indigenous youth ages 13 to 24.

    Their counsellors will help you recognize and positively deal with issues affecting your mental wellbeing. This could be anything affecting the way you think, feel, or act.

    Phone: 1-604-253-5885


    Visit our Need Help page for more resources.


    Our sincerest thanks to all those who contributed to the development of these videos and calls to action.

    • Cai, Algonquin-Anishinaabe and Metis
    • Capt, Coffee Krow, Carrier, Lake Babine Nation
    • Desireah Eustache, Simpcw First Nation
    • Kitty Wakas, Kwakwakwakaw
    • Scarlett Tupper, Gitxqata
    • Slevin McGee, Blackfoot
    • Tea Rosa, Squamish, Stó:, Irish and German
    • Wilson Nelles, Ojibwe Chippewa of Nawash
    • Ziggy, BCAEA (BC Anthromorphic Events Association)
    • Jada-Gabrielle Papa, WuWas Ulwat, Saanich and Snuneymuxw Nations
    • David Ng
    • Elder Bon, Red River Métis
    • Owen, Métis
    • Ryan, Métis
    • Alana Prochuk
    • Bety Tesfay
    • Cat Hart
    • Caitlin Anderson
    • Iman Baobeid
    • Kait Woodman
    • Kate Murray
    • Raji Mangat
    • Sharnelle Jenkins-Thompson
    • Suyu He
    • Victoria Chen

    Contact the project team

    For inquiries about the video project, please contact Sharnelle Jenkins-Thompson (she/her), manager of community outreach, at

    Thank you to our funders

    This project has been supported in part by Women and Gender Equality Canada and Vancity. We are grateful for their support.

    Women and Gender Equality Canada