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Ma-Nee Chacaby

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.

A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Oji-Cree;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

A compelling, harrowing, but ultimately uplifting story of resilience and self-discovery.

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 counsellor; 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, humour, and resilience. Her memoir provides unprecedented insights into the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people.

Reviews
“From groundbreaking and controversial AIDS awareness programs in the 1990s to the work she continues to do today, both with her own family and her extended reserve family, her life and this memoir ultimately serve as handbook of hope.”— Lara Rae, Winnipeg Free Press

"A Two-Spirit Journey is a raw and emotional story that doesn’t just show readers the author’s scars. Chacaby bares all in an honest telling of her life that includes flaws, like her struggles with substance abuse and a sometimes rocky path to sobriety. Despite the turmoil, the autobiography does have its uplifting moments and characters. Heartwarming stories of childhood friendships, and most importantly a powerful relationship between the author and her grandmother, weave feelings of optimism and hope into a life that is oftentimes surrounded by darkness.”— Scott Paradis, tbnewswatch.com

“An extraordinary account of an extraordinary life and very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Biography, LGBT, and Native American Studies collections.”— Midwest Book Review

“Activist, survivor, mother, counsellor, Ma-Nee Chacaby recounts her sometimes harrowing life with a calm and steady voice, infused with resilience and compassion. Effectively designed and edited to appeal to both the general public and those engaged in Indigenous studies, A Two-Spirit Journey presents an important story, powerfully told.”— Nik Burton, Rick Walker, and Carolyn Wood, Judges, 2017 Manitoba Book Awards

“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

Educator Information
This book would be useful for courses in women's studies, social studies, and gender studies.  Recommended for students in grade 12 or at a college/university level.

Caution: discussion of physical and sexual abuse.

Additional Information
256 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

Quantity:
Un parcours bispirituel: Recit d'une ainee ojibwe-crie lesbienne
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Oji-Cree;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

« Quand tu seras grande, tu seras une éducatrice pour notre peuple. Tu aideras les autres. Tu seras une guérisseuse. » L’extraordinaire histoire de Ma-Nee Chacaby en est une de courage, de souffrance et d’amour. En prononçant ces paroles prophétiques, sa grand-mère n’aurait pu viser plus juste. C’est elle qui a vu chez la petite Ma-Nee les deux esprits, le masculin et le féminin. Chance ou malédiction? Pour une enfant bispirituelle dans les années 1950, à Ombabika, une communauté ojibwé-crie du nord de l’Ontario, la liberté est infinie. Elle apprend à trapper, à chasser et à survivre en forêt; elle sculpte le bois, fait de la couture, tanne le cuir et s’occupe des enfants et des aînés. Mais sa grand-mère, sa bien-aimée kokum, sait que la suite sera très dure. Après une jeunesse bouleversée par les tragédies, les abus, un mariage forcé et l’alcoolisme, elle s’enfuit à vingt ans avec ses enfants à Thunder Bay. Là-bas, elle n’échappe pas aux violences racistes, mais réussit à atteindre la sobriété. Une vie de militantisme commence. Elle devient intervenante auprès de toxicomanes, de sans-abri et de mères en difficulté, reçoit des dizaines d’enfants en famille d’accueil et, lorsqu’elle découvre qu’elle aime les femmes, ne tarde pas à s’impliquer dans le mouvement LGBTQ2S. Comme lesbienne, guide spirituelle autochtone et handicapée visuelle, Ma-Nee Chacaby fait aujourd’hui figure d’inspiration. Sa vie est une courtepointe faite des morceaux de l’histoire brisée des Premières Nations, où s’entrelacent les fils de la résistance et de la guérison.

Mary Louisa Plummer est une chercheuse basée en Tanzanie, spécialiste des questions de santé publique et vieille amie de Ma-Nee Chacaby.

Additional Information
This is the French translation of A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder.  Translated by Sophie M Lavoie.

This book would be useful for courses in women's studies, social studies, and gender studies.  Recommended for students in grade 12 or at a college/university level.

Caution: Discussions of physical and sexual abuse; mature subject matter.

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.95

Quantity: