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Gloria May Eshkibok
(? - living) Canada

Gloria Eshkibok

Two-spirited actor, singer, and community activist


Eshkibok is Odawa, Mohawk, Irish and French. Originally from Wikwemikong, an unceded First Nations settlement on Manitoulin Island, she was based in Toronto for 13 years. Recently she returned to Wikwemikong to be with her father.

Eshkibok is a versatile artist in several disciplines including singing, acting and now writing. She has performed at York University with the Unceded Band. In 1992 she founded the Anishinabe Qwek Singers and in 1996 the Sweetgrass City Singers. Back home, she has been playing the hand drum and singing with The Nandwedida Hand Drum Group.

Since 1986, Eshkibok has been acting professionally in theatre, television, radio and film, with major roles in productions. On stage she has appeared in Tomson Highway's The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, Alanis King's The Manitoulin Incident, Bill Merasty's Fireweed, Louis Nowra's Crow, Eugene Oniel's The Hairy Ape, and Lenore Keeshig-Tobias's Lysistrata, among others. Outside of Canada, her roles have taken her to theatres in the United States and Scotland. Eshkibok was a co-founder of De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre on Manitoulin Island.

On television she has played in "Dangerous Offender", "Promise the Moon" and "He Who Looks Upside Down" etc. In film Eshkibok had roles in Dance Me Outside and in City of Dreams. At present, she is writing an autobiography of her life as an Anishinabe Qwe (woman) with a facial difference, and a monologue for CBC's "Outfront". She wrote a book, My Home As I Remember.

Eshkibok, now a highly-acclaimed artist, has had personal challenges to which she has risen with great courage. She said she is grateful to the joyous spirits of this world who recognize and nurture her gifts.

Eshkibok has suffered a great deal. Alcoholism is one of the problems with which she has wrestled. Living as a person with a facial difference is another. She refers to it in the working title of her current book, Cyclops Beauty.

Being "two-spirited" [lesbian] posed a difficulty for her in the past, too, when she attended Roman Catholic residential schools and heard the teachings against her nature made by the nuns and priests. "The two-spirited people need to be understood for the circle to be complete, but the church told us that our belief was wrong," said Eshkibok.


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