By Ma-Nee Chacaby, Mary Louisa Plummer
As a baby, Chacaby discovered religious and cultural traditions from her Cree grandmother and trapping, looking, and bush survival abilities from her Ojibwa stepfather. She additionally suffered actual and sexual abuse by way of diversified adults, and by way of her teenager years she was once alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay along with her little ones to flee an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded through racism, persevered, yet Chacaby came upon helps to assist herself and others. Over the subsequent a long time, she completed sobriety; knowledgeable and labored as an alcoholism counselor; raised her childrens and fostered many others; realized to reside 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 complication grounded in religion, compassion, humor, and resilience. Her memoir presents exceptional insights into the demanding situations nonetheless confronted by way of many Indigenous people.
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Additional resources for A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
She tried to take good care of her health, which probably contributed to her long life. One of my strongest memories of my kokum is her softness: her beautiful, silky, white hair; what seemed like a thousand fine wrinkles on her face; and the loose folds of her brown skin, which hung gently from her arms and neck. When I was small, I recall once leaning back against my grandmother’s knees and wrapping her long hanging breasts around my ears to make her laugh. My grandmother chuckled as she freed herself from me.
She liked that name since it sounded like the name of a French artist who my grandfather admired. Today I believe she must have meant Manet or Monet. More than anything else, though, my grandmother said she named me after a beautiful miinikaa (place with many blueberries), because I had been born in the blueberry season. CHAPTER TWO FIRST DISCOVERIES, JOYS, AND SORROWS—MY EARLY CHILDHOOD IN OMBABIKA (1952–1958) From the age of two until I was twenty years old, I lived in the neighbouring settlements of Ombabika and Auden in northwest Ontario.
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.
A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby, Mary Louisa Plummer