By Ma-Nee Chacaby, Mary Louisa Plummer
As a toddler, 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 by way of various adults, and through her teenager years she was once alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay along with her young children to flee an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by way of racism, persevered, yet Chacaby discovered helps to aid herself and others. Over the subsequent a long time, she completed sobriety; expert and labored as an alcoholism counselor; raised her childrens and fostered many others; realized to stay 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 problem 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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Additional resources for A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
Maybe my being born made her life worse. Once she told me she wished I had been a boy, because then her life would not have been so difficult. She may have been ashamed that I was a girl who acted like a boy, wearing pants and playing outdoors as a small child, and later working with machinery, and trapping and hunting. When my mother first came to Ombabika, she lived in a trapper’s tent with some other people. They set it up by digging a room about five feet deep into the earth and by reinforcing the dirt walls with wood.
I thought she meant that one day I would actually stand up and walk a great distance. She used to touch my hands and tell me, “When you grow up, you’re going to be a great teacher of our people. You will help others. ” MY MOTHER DEBORAH When I was about five or six years old, my mother came to live in Ombabika. Until that time, I had always thought my grandmother was my mother, and I actually called her “maamaa” (mother). Then one day she told me a woman would be coming to Ombabika who was her daughter and my real mother.
She enjoyed the celebrations and socializing that could happen there. My kokum said that white people believed their God lived in a house, but she did not believe that. She instead believed that Gitchi Manitou (the Great Spirit) lived everywhere. Still, my grandmother told me that we should be respectful whenever we visited church, and that we should listen and always try to find at least one good thing in the minister’s sermon to take away to use in our own lives. My grandmother was a spiritual person.