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LGBTQIA+ Studies: A Resource Guide

Native American and Indigenous Peoples

This page provides search strategies and a selection of recommended resources related to LGBTQ+ Native American and Indigenous studies.

Select Articles from Chronicling America:

The Library of Congress acknowledges that today it sits on the unceded lands of the Anacostans, the Nacotchtank the Piscataway and the neighboring Pamunkey peoples.

North American LGBTQ+ history often centers post-colonization narratives. However, the land that is now the United States of America had centuries of LGBTQ+ history prior to colonization.

If you are researching a time-period prior to colonization, you will need to determine what terms Native people were using to describe LBGTQ+ peoples, in their own languages. Take a look at this guide, which includes terms in a number of native languages Two-Spirit People: Sex, Gender & Sexuality in Historic and Contemporary Native America [PDF] External.

If you are researching post-colonization, you may also want to know which terms were being employed by the colonizers. Many of these terms will be in Spanish (amarionados) or French (bardache).

Browse the Library of Congress Online Catalog to locate relevant materials by subject:

  • Two-spirit people.
  • Indians of North America--Sexual behavior.
  • Berdache/Bardache.
  • Keywords like: Third/Fourth Gender, changing one
  • Search anthropological texts for known individuals like Hastíín Klah (Navajo Artist and Medicine Man), We'Wha (Zuni), or Kauxuma Nupika (Kutenai), who was called a "female berdache." "Female berdache" may be a useful search term for potentially discovering additional names, but it's important to point out that the western gender binary differs from native understandings of gender. Tribes that included "female berdaches" that are known include: Atsugewi, Blackfeet, Cocopa, Dakota, Flathead, Illinois, Ingalik, Klamath, Kutenai, Maricopa, Mojave, Navajo, Northern Paiute, Ojibwa, Quinault, Sanpoil, Shoshoni, Yuki, Yuma, Zuni.

The following links provide access to primary sources available from various repositories available both online and in print related to LGBTQ+ Native American and Indigenous studies.

See the records of activists and organizations the Gay American Indians, the Indian AIDS Project, Positively Native Newsletter, and the Randy Burns Papers by searching our database Archives of Sexuality and Gender (On-Site Only).

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links for additional online content are provided when available.

The following external websites provide additional resources related to LGBTQ+ Native American and Indigenous studies.