For this issue the Nation interviewed people on what they thought about two-spirited people or how they’re treated in Eeyou Istchee.

Nina Diamond from Waskaganish: “I think everybody’s civilized in life. As far as I’m concerned I worked with them on front basis. We’re all civilized people. There’s room for everybody else in the world. As to why someone is gay or lesbian, I do not enter that part of their boundary, unless that person is willing to share that with me. I have worked with people who are gay and lesbian. I don’t look at them that way; I just see them as human beings. The Creator made people to be like that, there’s nothing you can do to change it. It’s only obnoxious people who make the world into an unlivable place that would discriminate against people, but for me I don’t see it that way.”

Caroline Mianscum from Ouje-Bougamau: “I have hung around with people who are gay and I find them to be very nice. I find gay people harmless. I never saw them get violent. They’re human beings like everybody else. I found them to be very kind and warm-hearted people. My daughter used to hang around with gay guys and she said they were very nice. On the other hand it’s the straight guys that I found to be negative and very teasing.”

Mary Anne Wapachee from Mistissini: “I don’t find anything wrong with two-spirited people. They’re not violent. There’s a lot of gossip about them. People will say things about them that aren’t true. They have their own problems like straight people do. They’re no different from anybody else.”

George Miamianscum of Whapmagoostui:

“They’re one of the most generous and considerate and polite people I know. In their own communities they get teased. Some people are against them. Especially if their families know they’re gay, they want to disown them. They have no respect for them. Personally I think they should be treated like everybody else. It’s their choice to live the lifestyle they want. If they choose to be with the same sex then that’s their business. I don’t think anybody should have the right to be against these people or to say they don’t have the right to live the way they want.”

Brian Webb of Chisasibi:

“I believe that the Cree people are very tolerant and accepting of everyone. Not just gay and lesbians. However, as with every other society, there are a few ignorant people who are not open to different views of life.”

Elizabeth Napash from Chisasibi: “I’ve known friends that are gay since I was 18. I always found them to be very nice. They don’t stab you in the back. My daughter is only 13, she gets calls from guys who may be gay and she told me they’re very good friends. So I don’t have to worry about her that much knowing she’s safe. These people are harmless.”