1. The mythological figure of the Fur Queen is very prominent in the story and continues to appear in various guises throughout. What does this figure represent for the two boys?
2. Gabriel and Jeremiah react very differently to the sexual abuse they endure. Discuss these reactions and what they suggest about the boys' characters.
3. Cree is often described as a humorous, musical language, the language of a culture that tries to find the joy in everything. Highway mixes Cree with English throughout the text. Discuss the ways in which the varying sounds, structures and vocabularies of these two languages symbolize the gulf between cultures in the novel.
4. Jeremiah and Gabriel find it difficult to adjust to city life when they move to Winnipeg as teenagers. They are ostracized, made to feel like outsiders in the only country they have ever known. Discuss the similarities and differences between the experiences of the Okimasis brothers and those of immigrants you have known coming to Canada for the first time.
5. The Okimasis brothers are firmly connected to their roots in Cree culture, and yet they leave their home on the reserve to join 'city life,' rarely to return. Discuss the difficulty of being true to one's background, while living one's own modern life.
6. Jeremiah is keenly aware of the stereotypes assigned to Natives and knows that some of those prejudices reflect aspects of Native life. Jeremiah resists becoming the type of man a hostile society expects him to be. Can stereotypes be self-fulfilling prophecies?
7. There are many different mythologies—Christian, Cree, Greek—that weave through this story. Discuss the role these mythologies play in the lives of the Okimasis brothers. Discuss the impact different mythologies have on modern day literature and culture generally.
8. A fundamental difference between Cree and English and the worlds these two languages represent is that in Cree there is no gender, no rigid male-female categories. Does Kiss of the Fur Queen suggest what the imposition of a strict gender hierarchy would mean for Native culture? Is it possible to read Gabriel's fate as symbolic of this cultural destruction? What other novelists have used disease as a metaphor for social disintegration?