A deep scar leaves the mark outside and pierces one from within. The book “Kiss of the Fur Queen”, from Tomson Highway is about abuse in the residential schools. The general feeling with the parents is that…
If a youngster with impressionable mind, undergoes bitter experiences, one carries the psychological burden throughout the life, feels hurt and cheated. An inner conviction of uselessness for having met with such unfortunate experiences haunts throughout one’s life. “Cree writer and Residential School survivor Tomson Highway, in his 1998 novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen, enacts a significant intervention into the national discourse on Residential Schooling, combating church and state discursive control, and commandeering for Native survivors the authority to speak their histories and thereby articulate viable post-traumatic Native identities.” (McKegney....) The most difficult issue with an individual is the ill-treatment to ones spirit, being compelled to do something against ones will and inner convictions. The two brothers, Jeremiah and Gabriel have an idyllic childhood and are born, bred and brought up in the Cree culture. Suddenly events with devastating effects on their psyche engulf their lives for which they are least prepared. They are forced to adapt to
European culture, accept life-styles which they do not like at all and suffer abuse. Soon the circumstances turn so grim for them that anyone in such a situation will become cynical and everything around will look ignoble. They say, what can not be cured, must be endured. This is true of the life of two brothers, from the beginning of their lives in the residential school. What the future holds for such children? Those who are forcibly removed from their family and natural surroundings, not allowed to communicate in their own language, and compelled to undergo violent process of acculturation to dominant section of the society. Abrupt transition from one culture to another is a tortuous process that kills the spirit of an individual.
The forced changes in Jeremiah’s residential school-life began to occur immediately on his entry. A free-flying bird of the magical Cree world in snowy ...
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