ICT2SS was begun by our elders Pam Harjo and Michael St Clair, under the auspices of the Wichita Hunter Health Clinic. In fact, our emblem was designed by Pam’s brother. Pam, a Chickasaw, founded the “Wichita Two-Spirit Council” in 1997. She currently lives in Wichita KS with her husband. They have several children and grandchildren.
Pam worked with Michael at Hunter Health as the HIV/AIDS and Diabetes Program coordinators, as well as Traditional Medicine Referral specialists. From the creation of The Wichita Two-Spirits they worked to support and maintain a close relationship with other Two-Spirit groups and leaders throughout the country.
Both have spoken at Two-Spirit gatherings on Native spirituality and the role of Two-Spirit people in contemporary society as well as tribal tradition. Most recently Pam spoke at the 2009 Aspen Two-Spirit Gathering on the topics of Native history, Multi-Generational Grief, Native Health Services, Two-Spirit peoples, and the role of humor in social support and healing.
They were also able to provide ongoing support to the Tulsa Two-Spirit Osage Hills Park Retreat in the form of food donation. Sadly Michael passed in 2012, but Pam has remained an active and thoughtful voice of love and hope for our community. Both Pam and Michael were honored at the Osage Hills Retreat in 2013.
In 2009 Pam was also asked to be the Grand Marshall for the Wichita KS Gay Pride Festival. The following year Wichita Pride Inc, the organizing body of the Festival, held their event at the Mid America All Indian Center and requested the Wichita Two-Spirits provide an opening blessing for the event. The Wichita Two-Spirits were thankful for the opportunity and have participated in the Pride Festival parade each year since.
Following Michael’s passing, Pam chose to step down in her role as coordinator of the organization and asked Brent and Cathy if they would be willing to take over leadership. Both accepted. The organization also modified its name to “The Wichita Two-Spirit Society” to reflect its Inter-tribal membership and its renewed Mission of advocacy, mutual support, outreach, and education. ICT2SS also joined National Confederacy of Two-Spirit Organizations at the 2012 Osage Hills Retreat.