13 April 2012
Three Day Road: Relationship between the Cree and Hudson's Bay people
The relationship between people is always an interesting topic as different people communicate in different ways. In Three Day Road, Joseph Boyden introduces the relationship between the Cree and Hudson's Bay people as a negative one. The relationship between the Cree and the Hudson's Bay people is depicted through power struggle, racism and jealousy.
The residential school system and the experience of Niska's father clearly show the power struggle between the Hudson's Bay People and the Cree. In order to force the Cree to follow their culture and language, the Hudson's Bay people establish the residential school system. With the intention of getting the power to control the aboriginal people, the residential school used sexual, physical and mental abuses to create fear. Elijah is beaten when he is in the residential school because of talking to his dead mother. This is one of the examples of physical abuse. Also, he is being sexually harassed by Sister Magdalene, who is the nun in the school, as well. Xavier notes that," He tells me how she would rub her soapy hands over him, how Elijah would get an erection, how she would scold him and then take his erection in her hands and rub him until his taut penis thumped against his lower belly in a spasm" (341). This shows how the nuns fulfill their sexual desire with the Cree. This act makes the nuns feel superior because they can do what they want. Besides, the most effective way for the nuns to remove the Cree's own culture and language from them is to stop them from knowing anything about their culture. So, in the residential school, students are not allowed to use their original names and they must not communicate among themselves by using their language. If not, they would be castigated heavily. These restrictions reveal that mental abuse is in existence in the school as well for their thinking is being controlled and they do not have freedom. Freedom is prohibited so as to manipulate the future of the Cree. Moreover, the instance of Niska's father displays the presence of a power struggle too. Niska describes the arrest of her father by saying," My father was led away with his big hands bound behind him as our women wailed for the future" (47). The reason Hudson's Bay people arrest Niska's father is that he killed the windigo. In fact, during the time Niska's father is still alive, the death penalty was very common. The Hudson's Bay people should know that the killing of the windigo is one of the Cree's customs. Though murdering is wrong, Niska's father has a justifiable reason to kill the windigo. If he does not kill them, they will turn to wild beasts, according to Cree cultures, which would result in more death and suffering for the tribe. So, Niska's father actually...