In the film, “The Black Robe,” there were a number of conflicts between the French Jesuits and the Natives. The Jesuit missionaries are obviously trying to encourage the natives to embrace Christianity. In this film there is an obvious clash of cultures and a lot of suspicion, prejudice, and distrust, between the natives and French. There id also a lot of contemplation on whether or not to kill Black Robe due to these suspicions. The natives saw Black Robes as, “demons,” threatening the gods and sorceries which ordered their lives.
With all of this being said, it makes it hard to believe that the French Jesuits and the natives could have ever had a harmonious relationship with one another. Once one of the natives, Montagnais Shaman, accuses Laforgue of being the devil, he is able to persuade the Algonquin’s to abandon Laforgue and Daniel. The real conflict arises when one of the Algonquin Indians tries to shoot Daniel, after he has left Laforuge, and gone back to the natives to be with his love. There is obvious tension between these two cultures, and not much has to happen to have fighting or killing. However, it was not like this for all native tribes.
Even though most had their doubts about the French and their beliefs, they understood that they were accepting of all people who were willing to learn their teachings. Though they had their issues with each other, peace was not impossible. After the natives abandoned Laforuge, Chomina begins to feel guilty; Chomina goes back to search for him with a few other Algonquin natives, and Daniel. Another tribe of Indians captured Laforgue, Chomina, and the few that followed him for trespassing on ground that was once theirs. They all took sacrifices for one another, to help them escape the Iroquois tribe that was torturing them.
They did not believe in what the French were trying to persuade the other Natives to believe in. Along with that, they did not like that another tribe of Natives were venturing alongside the French, and making peace with them. Since they viewed the French in this way, they proceeded to torture Laforgue, as well as the Natives traveling with him, until they reached the point of death. I say that there was possibility of some kind of peace the tribes and the Jesuits, due to the fact that when they were captured they all sacrificed certain things for one another to help them escape.
For example, Chomina’s daughter gave herself to the guard in one of the tents to distract him, knock him out, and give themselves a chance to escape. Though she wanted to leave Laforgue behind in the tent, Chomina insisted that he not be left behind, and they save him too. Chomina was injured badly for this journey, and once he reached his last moments, still refused to convert to Christianity. He did not accept what Laforgue believed in and insisted that he just leave him alone, to go with the spirits that have guided his people.
The Jesuits did not understand that it was right, to try and convince the Natives that their beliefs were untrue. Trying to do this, they inevitably ruined their way of life, and put them into serious danger. For example, when they were being held prisoner by another native tribe, Chomina’s youngest child was killed right in front of him due to the difference in beliefs. Father Laforgue saw this clash between his culture and the Algonquins, and also between the Algonquins and the Iroquois. Daniel even questioned what good they were doing ,by trying to encourage Christianity.
The French priests that tried to change the natives risked, getting them into danger with their own people more than anything else. No good can come of one’s own people turning on them, and abandoning their beliefs. From the start, there was always a thick tension between the different cultures and belief systems, of the French and Natives. This made it hard to believe that they could ever keep the peace between them. Though there are instances where they can be peaceful with one another, and tolerate differences, there was never hope for the Natives and the French to be completely harmonious with one another in, “Black Robe. “