Essay on Kiss of the Fur Queen

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In Kiss of the Fur Queen, the story begins with forty-three year old Cree hunter Abraham Okimasis winning the "1951 Millington Cup World Championship Dog Derby." (6) The victory is seen to have a significant effect on the Cree hunter's Native identity, as he becomes the first-ever Indian to succeed in the Derby. As time goes by, Abraham becomes the father of two sons, Jeremiah and Gabriel. When the Cree brothers leave their small northern Manitoba village and enter the hostile environment of a residential school, their lives take a turn for the worse. Estranged from their Native culture, Jeremiah and Gabriel are forced to assimilate into the predominately white Canadian society. During their stay at the residential school, the brothers …show more content…

Jeremiah an avid musician, learns to sing to the caribou at a young age, while playing the accordion at the same time. At the residential school, Jeremiah develops a passion for playing the piano, as he successfully captures the "astonished" priest "squarely in the palm of his hand." (67) Gabriel, on the other hand, prefers the mesmerizing movements of dance. Early in the novel, Gabriel is be seen moving like a young caribou, sticking his "little arms above his head," while lifting his "left leg so high for the first step." (41) After watching an inspiring, "beat by beat" (144) ballet performance at the New Year's Eve Gala, Gabriel realizes his teenage dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. He ends up being very successful, and travels around the world to demonstrate his abilities. As the brothers pursue their western artistic talents, they turn back on their Native Cree identity. Gabriel, the younger of two Okimasis brothers, discovers that life in residential school is very different from the magical life back home. It does not take long for Gabriel to suffer his first episode of abuse at the hands of the Catholic priest, as Jeremiah witnesses the priest sexually molesting his brother in the darkness of the night. A second incident of abuse occurs when Gabriel gets caned for singing "Kimmosoom Chimasoo" while "hanging from the cross." Strangely enough, Gabriel is seen to

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