In 2002 when I was planning for the first Forum scheduled for February 2003 in Edmonton with the late Helen Thundercloud, Project Coordinator, from Kitigan Zibi in Quebec I reached out to my youngest sister; Carol Jenkins, an artist, to create a logo for the event. When I presented my idea to her I asked for male and female bodies connected by their hands swirling around 'in motion' to represent my perceptions of two spirits in motion and I moved my hands in a way that triggered her to create the tornado-like (wind/air) imagery. I also wanted her to include the rainbow colors swirling around with the two bodies to reflect our connection to the rainbow colors of the 2LGBTQ+ community. She added the hills/mountain-like images behind that image to represent the earth and colored the sky area a yellow to represent the sun (fire). The left foot of what appears to be the female body is what is connected to the earth below her feet. Under that imagery is the color blue to represent the water.
Then in the fall of 2003, the Aboriginal Two Spirit Working Group (ATSWG) chaired by Dale Ahenakew applied for some tobacco awareness monies offered through the Government of Alberta. The monies flowed through a partnership we created with the Nechi Training, Research and Training Institute in Edmonton where I was the Director of Marketing and Health Promotions at the time. The project we submitted was two-fold: 1) bring in a number of Treaty 6 Elders to educate our Two Spirit Working group on the traditional uses and teachings of tobacco from a Nehiyaw (Cree) perspective and 2) educate the Elders on our Two Spirit community. That first gathering, held in a tipi on the land out at the Nechi site north of Edmonton, turned into a four (4) year cultural knowledge transfer ceremony plan between the Elders and the ATSWG. Over that four (4) year period, we eventually learned about our Two Spirit connection to the tornado spirit/medicine, birthed the 2 Spirit Circle Eagle Staff and received three (3) ceremonial pipes for the now defunct Two Spirit Circle of Edmonton Society (TSCES). The TSCES has since been replaced by the E2S - Edmonton 2 Spirit Society Co-Chaired by Boyd Whiskeyjack.
A significant event happened at that first Gathering with the Elders where Dale Ahenakew and Warren Winnipeg were watching the sacred fire during the first evening. Warren was about to leave the tipi and a tornado-like flare shot up 8 to 10 feet in the air from the fire in front of him and Dale. He took that as a sign to stay a bit longer and he and Dale processed the potential significance of that moment. The rest of that story belongs to Warren and Dale.