Legacy Of The Residential School System In Kiss Of The Fur Queen And Creative Escape

2184 words - 9 pages

Residential schools all across Canada have left its students with the difficult task of regaining a normal life after various abuses. This legacy of residential school system is still affecting people today. In the books Kiss of the Fur Queen by Tomson Highway and Creative Escape 2013 by various inmates, tell stories of attending a residential school and then dealing with the legacy of the residential school system by finding different ways to overcome the effects of the residential school system. One effects of the legacy of the residential school system is isolation. Another effect of the legacy of the residential school system is guilt. Lastly the loss of identity is an effect of the ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, they are isolated from their own family and community. Another piece in Creative Escape called Prison Life talks about how life in prison is similar to the residential schools because they are locked in and disconnected from the outside world. This is an example of the legacy of the residential schools because in the residential school the children are isolated from family and community and it becomes a comfort so being in jail does not feel all that different.
Jeremiah and Gabriel face isolation from their family and when they live in the city after living in a residential school. In Kiss of the Fur Queen both Jeremiah and Gabriel go to a residential school and are torn away from their family. When Jeremiah returns from the school for the first time Gabriel worries that he will not be able to talk to his brother anymore. Gabriel says, “If he could speak no English and his brother no Cree, how were they to play together” (Kiss of the Fur queen 67). This shows the legacy of the language barrier Jeremiah face with each other at such a young age. When Jeremiah and Gabriel live in the big city of Winnipeg the isolation gets worse because of the big city and because they isolate themselves from each other. They never feel like they belong in the city. First Jeremiah hears a voice saying, “Come home Jeremiah, come home! You don’t belong there”(). That statement is also sort of echoed by his brother later in the book when Gabriel says, “We don’t belong here”(). This is after Jeremiah has lived in Winnipeg for two years and he dismisses what Gabriel says instead of helping him cope with the isolation. Writers in Creative escape and the Characters Jeremiah and Gabriel in Kiss of the Fur Queen deal with isolation but these men also have to deal with the effects of guilt.
The guilt taught to residential school students about how their own culture was wrong and how they needed to be like the white people. This guilt continues even after the students leave the school. In the story Prison Life by Eric Young he talks about how First Nation’s people are presumed guilty just by walking down the street. The story goes on to say that the police and the system singles out First Nation’s people and even with no evidence they are only given a plea deal that leaves them sitting on remand if they choose to fight the charges. Eric young says, “When we are put in jail we are guilty until proven innocent” (21). This shows that even outside of the residential schools the guilt continues on within the justice system and that the legacy of the guilt taught to the students is still present. In the book From the Iron House: Imprisonment in First Nations Writing, Deena Rymhs discusses the similarities between guilt experienced by imprisoned authors and children in residential schools. Deena Rymhs writes about Jane Willis’ autobiography. She talks about how Jane said that girls were accused of sexual promiscuity without any evidence. Rymhs then goes on saying,...

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