At the beginning of this haunting and masterful novel from the late Wagamese ( –), eight-year-old Saul Indian Horse is alone, having. Saul Indian Horse is in critical condition. Sitting feeble in an alcoholism treatment facility, he is told that sharing his story will help relieve his agony. Though. Indian Horse, a severe yet beautiful novel by Ojibway writer Richard Wagamese, concerns Saul Indian Horse, a former hockey star undergoing.

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Yet, Wagamese writes without apology; and with such specificity and emotional restraint the reader sometimes forgets to breathe. This article about a Canadian novel is a stub. If you haven’t already read Indian Horse I urge you to go out right now and purchase a copy. He moves in with the Kellys, a warm and supportive family in Manitouwadge, so he can play horwe tournaments.

In these schools literally tens of thousands children died from physical and sexual abuse, starvation, and treatable disease with the full awareness of the Canadian government.

Honouring Richard Wagamese — Indian Horse Feature Film

Calgary HeraldFebruary 28, Ojibway author Richard Wagamese creates an entirely believable and sympathetic waggamese in Saul Indian Horse, an Ojibway child who has undergone far more in his young life than any child ever had a right to. I went not because I thought there was something new to learn, but because I wanted to show respect, to listen.

The casual descriptions of sexual, physical and emotional abuse are devastating. It is even more heartbreaking than I could have imagined. Richard Wagamese is a wonderful author.

Honouring Richard Wagamese

He declares that his mother had heard a thousand sermons from the pulpit justifying slavery and never one against it– the justification being that by stealing the Africans from their heathen homelands and exposing them to the good and God-fearing people of America and other countriesthe slaves would be offered the mercy and salvation of that same God.

Unsure of what else to do, he retires to the family ranch, Wolfcreek, to mend. I wanted to attend the Indian Residential School that my family drove past many, many times on the way to visit April 2, We cannot be a real first world country until we as a whole culture and country can be open and honest about the true effects of colonialism, and can shift our national focus on mending these sorts of wounds and attempting to rebuild, instead of applying dirty, worn-out bandaids and expecting time to yield new results.


In this novel it is a metaphor for hope that can be understood by all — just as this heartfelt story is a symbol of how humans can fight back against the grimmest social history.

There was a point in this novel where I was so devastated that I cursed the author, “Damn it Wagamese, you’ve betrayed me. And indeed it appears that it will be. Here being awake at 5 a. The epiphany and vision he finds in hockey, is the epiphany and vision he finds for his own life. He was a newspaper columnist and reporter, radio and television broadcaster and producer, documentary producer and the author of twelve titles from major Canadian publishers.

It was very well written, very straight forward, and in the end made me cry. The last federally-operated residential school was closed in The year is And should be required reading for every individual in this nation. Champion bull-rider Joe Willie Wolfchild is poised to win the most sought after title in rodeo when a devastating accident at the National Finals leaves his body and ambitions in tatters.

I don’t think the author is suggesting that Natives should return to a Pre-Columbian lifestyle in the wilds. He tries to navigate a place for himself within the wagmaese, but when his attempts are rebuffed with racial slurs and physical attacks, he retaliates with violence and is ejected from the game.

As the menace reveals itself to be irrepressible, Saul eventually experiences complete collapse and descent into transience, addiction and episodic violence before finding the resource to remember his grim past, recollect the fragments, and move intentionally toward recovery and healing. Like they are the criminals. I can remember overhearing my dad and mom discussing it late at night while I was in bed.


Lists with This Book.

But it all goes terribly wrong, because as Saul gets better and better and progresses through the ranks of hockey, so too does he get deeper and deeper into that outside racist world. I do not remember any talk of the effect of residential schools at that time. As a reader, I wish there had been some interaction with a female character of Saul’s own age — and the relationship with Fred who rescued Saul from the school would have been interesting to see further developed.

Another memory of mine was that these kids were all in foster care with white families in our area. While I wept at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings, I think I still had a bit of a reserve because it was adults who were telling their stories – survivors – who probably had themselves healed enough to have some distance – scar tissue protecting them. He worked as a professional writer since By reading what he is writing while in treatment, we get engaged in fulfilling a possible pathway out.

This history is on one level hard to believe because it represents such a massive, appalling and coercive case of racist social engineering over a long time period, with inevitably devastating ongoing cultural consequences as it worked to extinguish the language and traditions of distinct communities.

Why does this country, though this took place in Ottawa, it happened here too, do the wagamexe stupid things over and over, expect a different outcome.

To those who live where hockey is not played, this inndian will convey some of richarrd speed and complexity that give the game its magic for those of us who love it.