Kahnawake will play host to its first-ever pride parade at the end of next month in an effort to show support and allyship for LGBTQ community members, a collection of community groups announced last week.

The parade will be held June 24 at 7:30 p.m. and will begin at the Kahnawake Sports Complex. From there the parade will move down the Old Malone Highway, make its way onto River Road and finish at the Tekakwitha Island Beach, said Kahnawake Tourism tours and events coordinator Jordan Diabo.

“It’s open to everyone and all ages,” she said. “We’re encouraging everyone in the community to come out and show support and allyship for LGBTQ and two-spirit people. It’s important because we have a number of people in the community who are in that situation and we want to support them.”

The parade will be followed by an alcohol- and drug-free dance party on the beach at 9 p.m.

“The first Pride Parade is a great opportunity for Kahnawake Tourism to show their support to 2SLGBTQ and inclusivity in our events. Our goal is to support our community and educated visitors; the event will be open to all, and we hoped to see your continued support,” Diabo added.

The rain date for the event is June 30.

Another organizer said the pride parade is a natural offshoot of a pair of previous allyship events that have been held in the community.

“Building off a previous Kahnawake Collective Impact event carried out in August 2022, Two Spirit: Indigiqueer Movie Night. The movie night was thought of and carried out by the Wholistic Health and Wellness for Youth Action Team of Kahnawake Collective Impact,” said KCI youth project coordinator Lily Deer. “The event was a success, and well-attended. Youth who attended came up to Action Team members and myself to say how happy they were to see such visibility for our 2SLGBTQ community members.”

Beside KCI and Kahnawake Tourism, other groups on board include Thrifting the Night Away, James Day’s Haunted Woods, Kahnawake Shakotiia’takehnhas Community Services (KSCS), and the Kahnawake Fire Brigade (KFB).

A pair of community members said they were excited for the first-ever event, saying it was “long overdue.”

“Helping bring the first 2Spirit Pride Parade to Kahnawake means a whole lot to us, because we want our youth to know that they are loved, they’re safe, and they matter in their community,” Lanny and Lacey Lazare said. “We want to celebrate LGBTQ2S+ in Kahnawake because it is long overdue to show everybody that no matter who you love that it’s okay, and you are safe to be who you are in our own comm

By Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 11, 2023 at 06:48

This item reprinted with permission from   lori:wase   Kahnawake, Quebec

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