Tomson Highway in Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing Essay

Tomson Highway in Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing Essay

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Tomson Highway is a playwright of Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kaspukasing. The play is based on the real life of Highway as he was born as a full-blood Cree, lived in a Native community that takes place in Wasaychigan Hill, and registered as a member of the Barren Lands First Nation (“Biography”). Native people have their own culture and beliefs; unique language and mythology. Most of his plays use Cree and Ojib language and show the issue of the women power in the community. As the period changes, the Canadian government tries to implement a new system to ensure that native people can cope and adapt with the world that keeps changing. The government tries to assimilate Christianity and Western culture by forcing the kids to go to the residential schools. They are not allowed to speak their own language, Cree, and stay with their parents so that they have less time spend on having a normal family life. As one of the ways to preserve Native cultures and beliefs, Highway uses the play as a medium to express their hardship in facing social challenges by the government. Tomson Highway explain the uniqueness of Cree language, the value of women in Native community and how the government’s strategy on modernizing Native people leads to the destruction of Native cultures.
Highway uses Cree and Ojib language in Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kaspukasing because they are very similar and the fictional reserve of Wasaychigan Hill has a mixture of both Cree and Ojibway residents (Highway 11). In the article by Susanne Methot, Highway mentions that Cree language is different from English in three ways; “the humour, the workings of the spirit world, the Cree language has no gender” (para 12). Language and culture are two things that relate with each oth...


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...y about the life of Native people to the audiences all over the world.



Works Cited

"A History of Residential Schools in Canada." CBCnews. Canadian Brodcasting Corporation, 07 Jan. 2014. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
"Biography." Tomsonhighway.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
Cote, Margaret. "Language Reflects Culture." Language Reflects Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
Highway, Tomson. “Tomson Highway: Native Voice.” Interview by Adrienne Clarkson. Adrienne Clarkson Present. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1990. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
Highway, Tomson. “Tomson Highway: Talks About the Cree Language.” Red Sky Performance. Red Sky Performance, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
Highway, Tomson. Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing. Saskatoon: Fifth House, 1989. Print.
Methot, Suzanne. "The Universe of Tomson Highway." Quill & Quire. St. Joseph Media, Nov. 1998. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.

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