By Ma-Nee Chacaby, Mary Louisa Plummer
As a baby, Chacaby realized religious and cultural traditions from her Cree grandmother and trapping, searching, and bush survival talents from her Ojibwa stepfather. She additionally suffered actual and sexual abuse through various adults, and through her youngster years she was once alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay along with her kids to flee an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded via racism, persisted, yet Chacaby discovered helps to assist herself and others. Over the subsequent many years, she completed sobriety; educated and labored as an alcoholism counselor; raised her youngsters and fostered many others; discovered to dwell with visible impairment; and got here out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the 1st homosexual delight parade in her followed urban, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Ma-Nee Chacaby has emerged from hassle grounded in religion, compassion, humor, and resilience. Her memoir presents remarkable insights into the demanding situations nonetheless confronted through many Indigenous people.
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Extra resources for A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
There were no homes close to ours, except for the long house, which was some distance away and up a small hill. Inside of the long house, there was a hallway that ran the length of the building, and each room off of the hallway housed an entire family. Most of the families had many children. Grandparents, parents, and children all lived together in one room. My aunt Renee and her husband Aziinii lived in one of those rooms with four of their children: Paula, Angela, Justin, and Flora. They also had some older children who had already left home to attend a residential school or start their own families.
Sometimes my mom used her wheelchair as a walker, supporting herself as she stood or walked, but if she became very tired she sat down in it. She could wheel herself around fairly well on Ombabika’s compacted gravel roads. A couple of years after my mother moved to Ombabika, she married an Ojibwa man named Gabe. They seemed happy together. I don’t remember them ever arguing. They laughed and kissed a lot; they also often got drunk together. Gabe mainly worked as a trapper and a hunter, but at times he was employed by the railroad, or as a fishing and hunting guide for white men who visited the area.
In that store, my grandmother saw a mirror for the first time. She also tasted her first orange, which she remembered as being both sweet and sour. My grandmother and her family must have travelled about 1,500 kilometres as they moved eastward along a northern route that crossed both Manitoba and Ontario. They only created a permanent home when they reached the Attawapiskat River on James Bay (Figure 2) in the early 1880s, when Leliilah was ten or eleven years old. FIGURE 2. MAP OF ONTARIO, CANADA, AND KEY LOCATIONS.
A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby, Mary Louisa Plummer