Tag Archives: First Nations

Montreal / Kahnawake woman crowned Queen of Burlesque!

1st Indigenous woman and 1st Canadian to win the title

Lauren Jiles ( known on stage as Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rière) has been performing burlesque for more than a decade, but her latest win as the 2018 New Orleans Queen of Burlesque is extra special, as she is the 1st Indigenous woman and the 1st Canadian to win the title.

Jiles is Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) from Kahnawake and is well-known in Montreal’s burlesque community. When she started her career 13 years ago, she was one of only a handful of Indigenous performers across Canada.

The international festival, which is in its 10th year, is known for crowning the top classic striptease dancer. Jiles was crowned on September 22nd, 2018 at New Orleans’ Civic Theatre.

Rick Delaup, founder and producer of the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, said Jiles had an edge over other contestants.

“All seven of the contestants are really established burlesque performers who are very skilled at what they do,” he said. “But when you have them all at one showcase where only one of them wins the title, you have to stand out among the others. She had everything in that performance. She had a really stunning costume. It was more original and it was just really noticeable.”

Watch her award-winning performance for yourself!

Article: Two Spirits, One Struggle

As a native myself, I found this to be an insightful introductory article to those who may be unaware of the struggles facing the Two-Spirited peoples of Native American culture and community.

two-spirit

“Shortly after coming out, dancer Tyler-Alan Jacobs was beaten so badly that his right eye was dislodged and the side of his face was caved in. Jacobs woke up in the hospital to the sight of his father leaving the room; his father couldn’t bear to look at him.

The pain was excruciating, and the $30,000 of reconstructive surgery would leave still-visible scars, but the fact that Jacobs had grown up with his attackers made the abuse even harder to move past.

Jacobs, 29, is one of a few hundred Vancouverites that identify as two-spirit – a First Nations term for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, other gendered, and third/fourth gendered individuals.”

According to the National Aboriginal Health Organization, two-spirited people are more likely to experience violence than heterosexual First Nations and they are twice as likely to experience assault (including physical assault, sexual assault, and assault with a weapon) than LGBT people in the general population.

Read the full article: Front Lines of Being First Nations and Gay