by Ma-Nee Chacaby, With Mary Louisa Plummer
University of Manitoba Press
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 in her teen years became 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 Thunder Bay. 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.
"A memoir of great scope and beauty, exploring with gender and sexuality, her Ojibwa-Cree cultural heritage, colonialism, and resilience." -- Sarah Neilson, L.A. Review of Books
"The story that Chacaby and Plummer recount is truly an extraordinary one, but it is also one that will resonate with many people whose stories have not been often told. The perspective of a lesbian Ojibwa-Cree elder is invaluable for LGBT Native youth and will be an enriching experience for many others, particularly those who have experienced abuse, disability, poverty, or the effects of colonization." -- Kai Pyle, Studies in American Indian Literatures
About the Contributors:
Ma-Nee Chacaby is a Two-Spirit Ojibwa-Cree Elder. She was raised by her Cree grandmother in a remote Ojibwa community near Lake Nipigon, Ontario.
Mary Louisa Plummer is a social scientist and a long-time friend of Ma-Nee's. Much of her professional work has focused on public health and children's rights.