Health and Safety Issues for Aboriginal Transgender/Two Spirit People in Manitoba

A community-based needs assessment funded by Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada was conducted following OCAP principles in order to gain specific knowledge of the safety and secuity concerns, the service and support experiences, and the service and support needs of the transgender and Two Spirit people of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. Participants provided quantitative and qualitative data by completing questionnaires. Data was analyzed using Epi Info and content analysis. Twenty-seven of our 75 participants identified as Aboriginal. The assessment shows that participants are at high risk for serious threats to health, quite apart from the needs for access to sex reassignment procedures. Many live in poverty or near-poverty, experience high levels of emotional distress, and high exposure to hostility and violence from a variety of sources in everyday life. Findings were similar in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants in many respects, with the Aboriginal participants having higher levels of poverty and correspondingly higher levels of concerns, experiences and needs associated with living in poverty. Levels of known STI and HIV infections are uch higher among participants than in the general population, and especially among male-born Aboriginal participants. Key recommendations include establishing a Centre of Excellence in trans care; an information campaign for trans people throughout the region, distribution of care and referral protocol throughout the health system, trans-competence training for first responders in emergency and police services.

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Canadian Journal of Aboriginal Community-Based HIV/AIDS Research
Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario