Indian Blood

HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco's Two-Spirit Community

Andrew J. Jolivette

  • Published: June 2016
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; Health
  • Bibliographic information: 176 pp., 1 bandw illus, 2 tables, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Series: Indigenous Confluences
  • Contents

Finalist for the 2017 Lambda Literary "Lammy" Award in LGBTQ Studies

The first book to examine the correlation between mixed-race identity and HIV/AIDS among Native American gay men and transgendered people, Indian Blood provides an analysis of the emerging and often contested LGBTQ "two-spirit" identification as it relates to public health and mixed-race identity.

Prior to contact with European settlers, most Native American tribes held their two-spirit members in high esteem, even considering them spiritually advanced. However, after contact - and religious conversion - attitudes changed and social and cultural support networks were ruptured. This discrimination led to a breakdown in traditional values, beliefs, and practices, which in turn pushed many two-spirit members to participate in high-risk behaviors. The result is a disproportionate number of two-spirit members who currently test positive for HIV.

Using surveys, focus groups, and community discussions to examine the experiences of HIV-positive members of San Francisco's two-spirit community, Indian Blood provides an innovative approach to understanding how colonization continues to affect American Indian communities and opens a series of crucial dialogues in the fields of Native American studies, public health, queer studies, and critical mixed-race studies.
Andrew J. Jolivette is professor and chair of American Indian studies at San Francisco State University. He is the author of Louisiana Creoles: Cultural Recovery and Mixed-Race Native American Identity.

"Indian Blood makes a significant contribution to the field as the first major work on Native Americans, HIV/AIDS, mixed-race identity, gender and sexuality, and the urban environment. The scholarship is superior."
-Irene Vernon, author of Killing Us Quietly: Native Americans and HIV/AIDS

"This excellent book helps to fill a huge gap in the Native studies literature about mixed-identity gay men and their struggles with multiple oppressions."
-Renya Ramirez, author of Native Hubs: Culture, Community, and Belonging in Silicon Valley and Beyond

1. Indian Blood: Two-Spirit Return in the Face of Colonial Haunting
2. Two-Spirit Cultural Dissolution: HIV and Healing among Mixed-Race American Indians
3. Historical and Intergenerational Trauma and Radical Love
4. Gender and Racial Discrimination against Mixed-Race American Indian Two-Spirits
5. Mixed-Race Identity, Cognitive Dissonance, and Public Health
6. Sexual Violence and Transformative Ancestor Spirits

"A welcome addition to the small but growing health literature about gay and transgendered mixed-race Native men, the work stands as a significant contribution that will certainly initiate further discussion, debate, and empirical investigations. Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries."