Sudbury·Audio

Meet the two-spirit chief of Serpent River First Nation

Brent Bissaillion is young, two-spirit and the chief of his northern Ontario First Nation, three things that don't often go together.
Brent Bissaillion is the chief or gimaa of Serpent River First Nation. He is one of the first two-spirited person to hold such a role. (Erik White/CBC )

Brent Bissaillion is young, two-spirit and the chief of his northern Ontario First Nation, three things that don't often go together. 

But the 30-year-old says there hasn't been much mention of it since he was elected chief of Serpent River a few years ago. He says it was clearly listed in his campaign material, however few voters talked to him about it. 

Bissaillion has spent a lot more time explaining his role to the 400 people who live in the community on the north shore of Lake Huron and trying to understand himself. 

"I don't have all the answers. Sometimes people think I have these special powers," he says. 

"I'm like the mayor, but I'm not the mayor. But I'm also like the premier, but I'm not the premier. And I'm like the prime minister, but I'm not the prime minister

"So I just say I'm the queen."

He's young, two-spirit and the chief of his northern Ontario First Nation. Those things don't often go together, but they do for 30-year-old Brent Bissaillion of Serpent River. Meet him in this documentary by the CBC's Erik White. 6:03

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erik White

journalist

Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to erik.white@cbc.ca

now