Where the Rivers Meet (WTRM)

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Where the Rivers Meet is an iSMSS educational initiative that is connected to  fYrefly in Schools. This program focuses on bringing culturally relevant teachings based on Indigenous ways of knowledge. Teachings include traditional and contemporary perspectives on Indigenous gender and sexual diversity. Where the Rivers meet first began in 2015 and was a project that grew out of the need to address systemic discrimination and create specialized programming catering to the lived realities of Two-Spirit, and LGBTQ+ Indigenous youth. Our program goal is to uplift and empower Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Indigenous youth to be their most authentic selves.

We work primarily in the Edmonton region but are expanding to serve indigenous communities, schools, and organizations all across Alberta. We also offer some professional development training for those adults who are looking for ways to support Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Indigenous youth.

This program uses traditional knowledge and teachings to focus on building tools for Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Indigenous allyship and advocacy with Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) youth, their schools and their communities at large.

Our workshops help to:

  • Reduce discrimination against sexual and gender minority youth.
  • Increase awareness of the impacts of homo/bi/transphobia.
  • Recognize the distinct, intersecting stigma experienced by those who are both Indigenous and queer.
  • Integrate local knowledges and teachings into allyship and advocacy practices.

Where the Rivers Meet delivers workshop plans that offer support on a multitude of levels: peer- to-peer education for youth (between the ages of 14-24) both within the school system and outside of it (such as group homes, youth drop-in centres, and others!), professional development for educators in the school systems, and for frontline / support staff in social service and child welfare environments.

Workshops are designed to follow the teachings of the medicine wheel by focusing on bringing the whole community into the conversation. While non-Indigenous LGBTQ+ folks may feel the need to distance themselves from the homophobia/transphobia they may have grown up experiencing by "coming out" independent of their family of origin, Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Indigenous people are more likely to desire an experience of "coming in" to their culture and traditional ways of being that view sexual and gender diversity as a gift that strengthens the community as a whole. All members of the community must be interdependently on board to include and affirm Indigiqueer youth. Each of these groups of people are instrumental to the health and well-being of Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Indigenous youth. It is our belief that it takes a whole community to raise a child and that awareness and advocacy needs to happen at every level. 

Workshops we offer include, but are not limited to,

  • Two-Spirit / Indigiqueer Pasts, Presents, and Futures
  • Decolonizing Gender
  • 2SLGBTQIA+ 101 (terms and definitions, perspectives, experiences, needs)
  • Anti-Oppression Training
  • In-School Professional Development for Teachers and Frontline Staff

For more information or to book a workshop

Connect with our program coordinator at wtrm@ualberta.ca 


Recognition & Gratitude 

Where the Rivers Meet relies heavily on the support and generosity of our community members and partners. As a result of the continuous support from our community partners, WTRM is able to continue to serve Two-Spirit and 2SLGBTQ+ Indigenous youth. WTRM raises awareness and gives these youth a voice through sharing traditional teachings and knowledge with the wider community. Thank you for helping us build a more inclusive community. 

If you would like to know how you can support WTRM please our visit our donation page.For more information about our other programs, please click here. 

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iSMSS has a number of programs that provide support the well being of 2SLGBTQ+ youth in Edmonton and surrounding area.You can support the work we do by making a charitable donation to any of our programs, services, or projects.  For a full list of the programs and services we provide click here. 

All donations to iSMSS are eligible for a charitable tax deduction receipt, from the University of Alberta. To make a donation, please click on 'Give to iSMSS'. 

Volunteer   Give to iSMSS 


For more information or general inquiries regarding our Programs and Services, please contact:

Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services
Email: iSMSS@ualberta.ca
Tel: 780.492.0772

Connect with iSMSS on social media 

Instagram and Twitter: @ismss_ualberta

Facebook: @iSMSS