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Jack Saddleback Gender Equality + Education + Identity

"There Are No Closets in Tipis"

Riveting, captivating, real, insightful, grounded, and illuminated, these are just a few words that have been used to describe Jack Saddleback’s presentation of his life as a Cree Two-Spirited Champion. Saddleback has won numerous awards, including Red Cross’s 2018 SK Young Humanitarian of the Year, CBC’s 2016 Future 40 Under 40, and the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network 2015 Young Eagles Award. Jack’s life story embodies how one person’s spirit can help transform a community, while providing validation to struggling trans youth.

“Everyone has an identity. Mine just happens to be rarer than most.” Jack Saddleback 

In his wake, Jack Saddleback leaves gender barriers shattered. As a Cree Two-Spirited Transgendered Gay Man, he was the first elected Transgender Student Union president of University of Saskatchewan and only the fourth Indigenous person to hold that position. 

Jack captivates his audience when sharing his validating message of Embracing Two Spirits, Conquering Mental Health, and Finding One’s Identity.  

Jack has found many struggles not only from the world at large but from his own Indigenous community. This has not stopped him from reaching new heights. He embraces life with an open mind and a child-like curiosity that helps push his own limits in the pursuit of happiness. 

He spent the first four years of his life on his home reservation of the Samson Cree Nation, before moving with his Family to Calgary, Alberta at the age of four. This however, did not stop him from being instilled with Cree values that shine through in everything he does. Helping audiences to see gender identity through an Indigenous lens, Jack now uses these traditional teachings of the Cree to provide validation and acceptance to the LGBTQ community. 

Currently, Jack works for OUT Saskatoon as Co-Interim Director as well as Cultural & Projects Coordinator. His work continues to embody his values and his spirit as a truly caring world changer dedicated to creating safe spaces for people of all genders and orientation. 

An artist, Speaker and lifelong learner, Jack possesses a powerful zest for life.His message of sâkihito-maskihkiy (love medicine), identity, and embracing our authentic self, certifies Jack Saddleback as a force for positive change in our society.

 

 

  • Sâkihito-maskihkiy: Love Medicine Conquers All

    Jack’s journey of self-discovery was not without significant challenge and pain, however with the unconditional love of his family, Jack was able to persevere and thrive as a two-spirited person.  As Jack explains, love is perhaps the most important medicine of all.  Jack’s message will inspire all groups to examine our own limiting ideologies, and corporate values to transform the way we treat each other. 

    Audiences will learn and experience: 

    • How love can conquer all 
    • The importance of family and community supports 
    • The social challenges that 2SLGBTQ+ youth face  

    Two-Spirit Champions: There are No Closets in Tipis

    Historically, being Two-Spirited and Indigenous, was not something kept hidden but rather celebrated for their honoured role in the community—colonialism changed that. Jack speaks about the importance of unlearning these ‘colonial’ values and the transformation that is waiting for all communities when they embrace the diversity inherent in our human experience. 

    In this presentation, audiences will learn about:  

    • The colonial roots of transphobia and homophobia 
    • The Indigenous perspectives of Two-Spirited Champions 
    • Transformation and healing awaiting communities that embrace diversity 

    Finding You: The Journey to Reclaiming Your Identity

    Jack illustrates that a deep exploration of your past can help to guide your future. As Indigenous Peoples continue to reclaim some of their stolen and lost knowledge, they are discovering validating messages left behind by their ancestors. Embark on a journey, with Jack to discover your identity embedded in your DNA. 

    Jack provides insight on: 

    • The crucial importance of seeking out and embracing one’s true identity 
    • The significance of understanding Indigenous perspectives 
    • Lessons from a personal journey of a transgender gay man 
  • Highlights / Awards

    • Youth by Youth cinema award for best short documentary (The Uprising), Calgary International Film Festival 2007
    • Excellence in Language Arts Award, Nutana Collegiate Institute 2011
    • Kiwanis Scholarship for Volunteerism 2011
    • Living in Harmony Award, City of Saskatoon 2012
    • USSU Pride Centre Peer Choice Award 2012
    • Affinity Credit Community Youth Award, OUT Saskatoon 2014
    • Young Eagles Award, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network 2015
    • CBC Future 40 Under 40, CBC Saskatchewan 2016
  • Clients

    • Amnesty International Saskatchewan
    • Memorial University (Grenfell Campus)
    • ACPA - College Student Educators International
    • Unifor Union
    • Aboriginal Government Employees Network, Government of Saskatchewan
    • Egale Canada
    • World Pride Human Rights Conference (Toronto)
    • Canadian Association of Colleges & University Student Services
    • Shell Canada
    • Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies
    • Bell Canada
    • Saskatoon School Board

“Everyone has an identity. Mine just happens to be rarer than most.” Jack Saddleback 

In his wake, Jack Saddleback leaves gender barriers shattered. As a Cree Two-Spirited Transgendered Gay Man, he was the first elected Transgender Student Union president of University of Saskatchewan and only the fourth Indigenous person to hold that position. 

Jack captivates his audience when sharing his validating message of Embracing Two Spirits, Conquering Mental Health, and Finding One’s Identity.  

Jack has found many struggles not only from the world at large but from his own Indigenous community. This has not stopped him from reaching new heights. He embraces life with an open mind and a child-like curiosity that helps push his own limits in the pursuit of happiness. 

He spent the first four years of his life on his home reservation of the Samson Cree Nation, before moving with his Family to Calgary, Alberta at the age of four. This however, did not stop him from being instilled with Cree values that shine through in everything he does. Helping audiences to see gender identity through an Indigenous lens, Jack now uses these traditional teachings of the Cree to provide validation and acceptance to the LGBTQ community. 

Currently, Jack works for OUT Saskatoon as Co-Interim Director as well as Cultural & Projects Coordinator. His work continues to embody his values and his spirit as a truly caring world changer dedicated to creating safe spaces for people of all genders and orientation. 

An artist, Speaker and lifelong learner, Jack possesses a powerful zest for life.His message of sâkihito-maskihkiy (love medicine), identity, and embracing our authentic self, certifies Jack Saddleback as a force for positive change in our society.

 

 

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