Curve Lake makes history with raising of Pride flag

·2 min read

For the first time in Curve Lake First Nation’s history, a Pride parade and flag-raising event took place on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Those who attended said it was a good day to be proud of the community they live in.

Members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, along with council members, gathered in a socially distanced area to mark the important event. According to Chief Emily Whetung, the Pride flag will soar all year long.

Heidi Whetung, Indigenous mentor for 2SLGBTQ+ at Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, said she’s waited for this day since she identified herself as a two-spirit woman.

“I’m proud of who I am,” Whetung said. “I’m proud of my community, we all belong in the circle.”

Whetung added after colonization, 2SLGBQT+ were shunned, shamed even in their own communities and from their own families.

“In our culture we do not judge, it’s not the way of the Anishnaabe people,” Whetung said.

Whetung added raising the Pride flag is important for the community and shows everyone is accepted despite their sexuality.

Chief Whetung said there cannot be any form of discrimination in the Curve Lake community.

“Today is a good day, a proud day, proud to be Anishnaabe, proud to be Michi Saagiig. I am so glad to be part of this event,” said Chief Whetung.

She went on to say the Curve Lake First Nation community is a loving, caring community who accepts all people.

Cecil McCue, 14, who had struggled with being accepted as a queer transgender person, said being Indigenous made it more difficult.

“Racism towards me worsened,” said McCue.

“It’s easy to make fun of a child with no space to feel safe in.

“I always felt there was something wrong with me, my identities, and it wasn’t until I met my group of friends where now I feel safe.”

McCue went on to say Indigenous culture is older than colonization and we need to honour and value our 2SLGBTQ+ people and live in a community who accepts all.

“Today raising this flag is one of the steps we take to build a community for our 2SLGBTQ+ brothers and sisters ... to live authentically as possible; we all belong in the circle,” said McCue.

Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week