“This show won’t mean anything without the people:” wâkhotôwin in the Kiss of the Fur Queen Movie Treatment

  • June Scudeler



Using wâkhotôwin or the Cree concept of kinship, I explore the differences between Tomson Highway's (Woods Cree) unpublished movie treatment for the Kiss of the Fur Queen and the published novel version. Both versions are a fictionalised account of Tomson and his brother René's childhood, residential school experiences and careers as artists. Through wâkhôtowin, the brothers, both in the movie treatment and in reality, engage with various communities to create art that exposes residential school abuses and foreground Two-Spirit gay, lesbian, trans and queer (2LGBTQ) rights.


Author Biography

June Scudeler
June Scudeler (Métis) is a PhD candidate in English at UBC. Her dissertation explores the works of René and Tomson Highway (Woods Cree) and filmmaker / visual artist Kent Monkman (Swampy Cree) to understand how Cree Two-Spirit, gay and queer peoples reclaim and rework their traditions. Her publications include essays in the anthology Queer Indigenous Studies and in Studies in Canadian Literature.