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He beat her brutally breaking bones and doing damage that took years, surgery and therapy to repair. But she finally got away from him and moved with the kids to Thunder Bay. There she became involved in Alcoholics Anonymous and got sober. Sadly the abuse was a constant throughout her life. She was raped by senior members of Alcoholics Anonymous who preyed on the vulnerable that had newly joined.

A Two-Spirit Journey

And later she was assaulted by a doctor she went to for eyecare. She was going blind. But she persisted in her recovery and one of the twelve steps of AA is belief in a higher power. She had a break through during the program. That day in …I began to have faith in a higher power that created and sustains the world.

Today I believe in a Great Spirit as my grandmother explained it to me, which is a gentle, loving, and healing creator who lives within us and all around us, and is neither man nor woman, but both.

A Two-Spirit Journey - The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder

Over the years, the AA program has helped me to be sober and to live a healthy, balanced life, but my faith in a higher power has been even more important. Ma-non went on to attend a year-long training course to become an alcoholism counsellor. And she traveled to remote communities to participate in AA events.

After a second marriage she learned of AA meetings for lesbians and gays and began to be more aware of her sexuality. At one point they came upon a performance that was womyn-only and Ma-non chose to stay. At first I just sat and listened to the musician, whose songs drew me in right away. Listening to her, I felt like I was coming alive in ways I had not felt for a long time…I felt like I was no longer alone. She moved to Boston to be with Leah and got a job in a half-way house working with pregnant womyn in recovery.

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After her time with Leah, Ma-non was single for ten years until she met Grace. A relationship that lasted for 20 years.

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I read it in a single day, in a few hours. It spoke to me of the social and cultural markers that we share with our Canada cousins: the incredible ongoing violence against womyn; gender as a social construct dictating how womyn are supposed to behave, dress, wear their hair and makeup; Tuberculosis; and the introduction of AIDS to the Native population.

I related to her story on so many levels and truly believe that you will too. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

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You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Skip to content. She acknowledges:. I also understand that some of them experienced horrible abuse and neglect in residential schools. But it is hard for me to feel lucky.

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A Two-Spirit Journey : Ma-nee Chacaby :

I experienced molestation and beatings in Ombabika, both before and after the other kids were taken away. So it is difficult for me to know whether it was better to stay, or to have been taken away.


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Although Chacaby endured many hardships throughout her youth, today, as an elder, she has learnt to find peace within herself. She acknowledges therapy, counselling, Anishinaabe spiritual practices, and painting all as positive methods that help her cope with difficult memories and difficult times.

In this book, Chacaby shares an incredible story, giving voice to perspectives which are rarely heard.

It was a pleasure meeting you at the Navajo National Monument enjoyed talking to you…I think there is a lot you can teach me….. Love is all around us if only we can see it……john c.