By Ma-Nee Chacaby, Mary Louisa Plummer
As a baby, Chacaby discovered 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 via diversified adults, and via her teenager years she used to be alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay along with her youngsters to flee an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by means of racism, endured, yet Chacaby chanced on helps to aid herself and others. Over the next a long time, she accomplished sobriety; informed and labored as an alcoholism counselor; raised her young children and fostered many others; discovered to stay with visible impairment; and got here out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the 1st homosexual satisfaction 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 extraordinary insights into the demanding situations nonetheless confronted via many Indigenous people.
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Extra resources for A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
Water was carried in buckets on the ends of a long wooden bar that rested on a person’s shoulders. Inside the cabin, we used water for cooking, bathing, and washing clothes in a large bucket. We heated water on the stove to fill the big bucket for baths, and then we all shared the same bath water. Whoever lined up first got the first bath. I almost always was first, because I didn’t like to clean myself in dirty water! In warm weather, Barry and Matilda sometimes bathed in Blusky Lake instead, but I didn’t because I didn’t know how to swim.
Inside of the frames, we made strong nets from fishing line and we sewed thick leather on to the centre, where my moccasins were attached with straps. Finally, we decorated them with a set of red-and-white pompoms.
She taught me how to make moccasins, shirts, and bonnets. Our indoor moccasins were small and made of thin leather, while those for outdoors were made of thick leather that could be wrapped around the lower leg, to prevent snow getting inside our pants. We used deer sinew to sew moccasins because of its strength, but it took a long time to turn sinew into thread, requiring hours of pulling and cutting large pieces into very thin strips, so we used store-bought thread for other sewing jobs. I wore a bonnet in summer to protect myself from insects and the sun.
A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby, Mary Louisa Plummer