[Date of Submission]
A Look into the First Nations in Canada in the Movie
Where the Spirit Lives
When we talk of the lives of the First Nations people in Canada, there is one movie that I found particularly focused on that subject. The movie is “Where The Spirit Lives” (1989), a film about a young First Nations girl (Amelia) who was kidnapped from her home along with her siblings. They were taken to a boarding where they were “taught” the white Canadian ways in almost always a brutal fashion, which was all part of a the bigger plan to assimilate the aborigines into the Western/British culture. To summarize, it was cultural genocide altogether.
While I was watching the movie, I kept thinking of my own country, Korea. It reminded me a lot about my own people’s similar experience under the Japanese, who still denies the allegation even until now. In addition, it did not help that the Korean government was not trying their best to prove it. Nevertheless, I believe people ought to be aware that instances like these happened, and is probably still happening albeit subtly, in countries like Canada, Korea and even in the United States.
I am writing to the President of Korea, hoping to accomplish 2 things: first is to ask him to watch the same movie and get the picture of how the First Nations people in Canada have been treated. and second is to make him see the bigger picture of it all – the similar (but under different circumstances) situation that Korea has experienced. When, hopefully, he does see this things, he will also realize that cases like these have to be stopped and prevented, even and most especially in this present generation.
Thinking about the contemporary Canada
Dear. Mr. President,
Hello. My name is Seungeun Lee and I a Korean who loves my country so much. It would be such an honor to talk and propose my thought with you. Please listen to this young student as everyone knows you are a wise leader. I have been a student in Canada for four years now. While I am studying here, I found the story about the First Nation in Canada. It is interesting because they had been through the struggle time as the Koreans. And while people are learning about what happened to them through books, there is this one movie that I think will also let us see a glimpse of the experiences of the First Nation in Canada.
The movie is entitled Where the Spirit Lives, and if you watch this you will see what I am talking about. Basically, the First Nation in Canada was forced to lose their identity by Canadian government during 1930’s. The government thought that they were uncivilized and doing a favor for them, when all the while was that they were destroying them. In this movie, a girl was kidnapped and pushed to be Christian in a boarding school. Also, she was banned to use her native name or language. Consequently, there was a cultural clash between natives and whites. The students were simply confused. Fortunately, there was one teacher named Kathleen who wanted to help the aborigines. In the end they were taught English as their second language.
In our country, Korea, we have been through the same cultural genocide. However, it is not officially known around the world because the Japanese government still denies what they did. I hope we learn from the story of the First Nation in Canada, and hopefully the government tries harder to help the citizens with this issue.