A two-spirit journey : the autobiography of a lesbian Ojibwa-Cree elder / Ma-Nee Chacaby with Mary Louisa Plummer.

A Two-Spirit Journey is Ma-Nee Chacaby's account of her life as an Ojibwa-Cree lesbian. From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby's story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and heal...

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Main Author: Chacaby, Ma-Nee, 1950-
Other Authors: Plummer, Mary Louisa,
Published: Winnipeg, Manitoba : UMP, University of Manitoba Press, [2016]
Series: Critical studies in Native history ; 18.
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Summary

A Two-Spirit Journey is Ma-Nee Chacaby's extraordinary account of her life as an Ojibwa-Cree lesbian. From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby's story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism.
As a child, Chacaby learned spiritual and cultural traditions from her Cree grandmother and trapping, hunting, and bush survival skills from her Ojibwa stepfather. She also suffered physical and sexual abuse by different adults, and by her teen years she was alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay with her children to escape an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by racism, continued, but Chacaby found supports to help herself and others. Over the following decades, she achieved sobriety; trained and worked as an alcoholism counselor; raised her children and fostered many others; learned to live with visual impairment; and came out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in her adopted city, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Ma-Nee Chacaby has emerged from hardship grounded in faith, compassion, humor, and resilience. Her memoir provides unprecedented insights into the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people.


Table of Contents

Illustrations

p. vii

A Note on Terminology

p. x

Chapter 1My Grandmother's and My Family's History in Manitoba and Ontario (1863-1952)

p. 1

Chapter 2First Discoveries, Joys, and Sorrows - My Early Childhood in Ombabika (1952-1958)

p. 8

Chapter 3Seasonal Activities, First Friendships, and the Beginning of Addiction (1958-1960)

p. 34

Chapter 4School, Teenage Friendships, and Having two Spirits (1960-1965)

p. 50

Chapter 5Losing My Grandmother and Mother, Becoming a Parent, and Surviving an Abusive Marriage in Auden (1965-1970)

p. 69

Chapter 6Living and Parenting in Thunder Ray and Sault Ste. Marie Before Sobriety (1970-1975)

p. 84

Chapter 7Sobriety and Single-Parenting in Thunder Bay (1975-1980)

p. 103

Chapter 8Working with Addicted Mothers and Raising Foster Kids with Nate in Winnipeg (1980-1987)

p. 123

Chapter 9Coming Out, Falling in Love, and Living with Leah in Thunder Bay and Boston (1987-1991)

p. 138

Chapter 10Meeting Grace and Building a Life Together in Kaministiquia (1991-2004)

p. 165

Chapter 11Recovering From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Becoming an Elder in Thunder Ray (2004-2014)

p. 189

Afterword

p. 215

Mary Louisa Plummer

People Mentioned in the Book

p. 233

Glossary

p. 237

Bibliography

p. 239