Michif, Red River Métis
Growing up, Chantal had many questions about what it meant to be Métis. Her path to understanding her Métis identity received inspiration in university where her first Métis professor, Judy Isaac Barnes, introduced her to ceremony. Chantal realized how important spirituality is to her and has continued to advocate for Métis ceremony and spirituality as a professor and a community leader.
Chantal’s spiritual identity is intricately connected to her queer identity and she is an active member of the Two-Spirit community in Winnipeg and beyond. As a founding member of the Two-Spirit Michif Local, she is working to ensure queer Métis citizens have a safe place within the Manitoba Métis Federation. With her wife Nicki, and other members of the queer Indigenous community, Chantal is also helping prepare land purchased by Two-Spirit Manitoba Inc to host a Two-Spirit Sundance—a first of its kind.
“There are lots of Métis people who are going to sweat lodge, who are committing to the Midewiwin lodge, who are doing their Sundance commitment. And it is bettering our lives, our families, our communities. It contributes to the ways we decolonize ourselves and it should be celebrated.”
Through her work, Chantal hopes that future generations of Two-Spirit and Métis folks will have access to the life-sustaining supports that ceremony offers.