Partial Transcript: I am Seneca Chartrand. I’m here with Duane (Albert) Morrisseau-Beck. It is August 5th. We are at the Two-Spirit Gathering in Beausejour, Manitoba. Is this your first gathering?
Segment Synopsis: Introduction of the interviewer, Seneca Chartrand, and the interviewee Albert Beck at the Two-Spirit Gathering in Beausejour, Manitoba on August 5th, 2018.
Partial Transcript: No, actually it’s not my first gathering [laughs]. I think this is my fourth gathering now. The last one that I was at was in Ontario, I think, and that’s about twelve or thirteen years ago.
Segment Synopsis: Beck discusses his first gathering, his adoption, learning about indigenous spirituality, and his own identity. Beck explains how the gatherings are a place to recharge and relax and that he has confidence in his elders to be able to guide them in ceremony.
Partial Transcript: Part of the movement for two-spirited is the HIV/AIDS movement. My introduction to indigenous spirituality and to the indigenous community was through the Manitoba Aboriginal Aids Task Force.
Segment Synopsis: Beck states that his introduction to the indigenous community and the two-spirit world was through HIV/AIDS. He discusses his involvement in the Manitoba Aboriginal Aids Task Force.
Partial Transcript: My community is the Métis community, and the Métis Nation is slowly working on two-spirited issues. There are a number of movers and shakers in the Métis community.
Segment Synopsis: Beck credits the Métis community on working and moving towards two-spirit issues. Beck explains how he, as well as the Métis community view two-spiritedness and that it has nothing to do with sexuality. Beck considers his previous view of the many worlds he belonged to and how he thought of them as separate.
Partial Transcript: I started the anti-retrovirals in the mid ‘95 . And I’ve been taking them for over -- let’s see, 1995, twenty some years already.
Segment Synopsis: Beck describes his life after medication, his presidency of the Ontario Aboriginal HIV Strategy, and the teachings he has since received.
Partial Transcript: I mentioned a little bit about family. My mother is a nurse, she’s retired. My father works I think its general labour.
Segment Synopsis: Beck describes his biological family and his adoptive Ukrainian family. Beck’s biological family never gave up their search for him as he was taken away as a baby.
Partial Transcript: But I was dealing with those identity issues. I had a double whammy as a two-spirited person because I didn’t know who I was.
Segment Synopsis: Beck describes his identity issues as well as how youth are now identifying themselves with new terms. He explains the importance of learning and having these conversations with the new eminence of these peoples.
Partial Transcript: Having the right people doing the ceremonies, having the right educated elders -- creates a safe space for two-spirited people. It’s so critical right now with our youth.
Segment Synopsis: Beck reveals what he said to the youth at the gathering on the first day. His speech included guidance and support for them to feel safe and open to the teachings being provided.
Partial Transcript: I think one of the things that I want to sort of close off with my thoughts are is it’s important for us to continue this type of stuff.
Segment Synopsis: Beck is hopeful for an increase in two-spirit gatherings and spaces.
Beck asserts that he believes in the importance of this project.