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 talents from her Ojibwa stepfather. She additionally suffered actual and sexual abuse by means of varied adults, and via her youngster years she was once alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay together with her young ones to flee an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by way of racism, endured, yet Chacaby stumbled on helps to assist herself and others. Over the next many years, she completed sobriety; educated and labored as an alcoholism counselor; raised her kids 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 problem grounded in religion, compassion, humor, and resilience. Her memoir offers remarkable insights into the demanding situations nonetheless confronted by means of many Indigenous people.
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Extra info for A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
Ombabika lay a couple of kilometres west of Auden. The two communities were separated by both the Ombabika River, which ran north to south at that point, and the national transcontinental railway, which ran east to west. Summit Lake, the source of the Ombabika River, lies about twenty kilometres northeast of Ombabika and Auden. Lake Nipigon, the river’s final destination and the largest lake entirely within Ontario’s boundaries, lies about twenty-five kilometres to the southwest (Figure 2). Until I was sixteen years old, I lived in Ombabika, which had an almost entirely Ojibwa and Cree community.
Most of her friends went with their children, so she wanted me to attend church with her, too. I did not like to get up so early on Sunday mornings. At first my mom forced me to go, but then my grandmother told her to let me be. My kokum said I should be allowed to decide whether I wanted to attend church. My mom was a fine musician—she played the fiddle and the accordion, and she had a beautiful singing voice. She also was a good cook, and sometimes she hosted big dinners at her house. Her Christmas fish dinners were well known, and everyone agreed she made the best pudding in Ombabika.
Our stockpile was covered in clay, so it stayed cool and preserved, and my stepdad put a big woodpile on top of it to prevent bears and other animals from unearthing it. Year-round we ate dumplings made out of flour and lard, as well as fish, berries, and, now and then, fresh, smoked, or dried meat. I tasted jam for the first time after my mother married my stepdad. He used to mix jam with milk and bread, squishing them all together in a bowl, and I found it wonderfully sweet. Later, there were times when my mom bought macaroni, oats, and butter at the Hudson’s Bay store, so we began to eat those at home too.