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Set in northern Ontario in the 1960s, Indian Horse tells the story of Saul Indian Horse, an Ojibwa boy taken from his family and sent to a residential school where he experiences and witnesses horrible abuse. Saul's means of escape comes in the form of hockey. His incredible skills as a hockey player eventually get him out of the school, but racism and his troubled past threaten to take away all his joy and passion for the game.
From D&M publishers: http://www.dmpibooks.com/book/indian-horse
"Saul Indian Horse has hit bottom. His last binge almost killed him, and now he’s a reluctant resident in a treatment centre for alcoholics, surrounded by people he’s sure will never understand him. But Saul wants peace, and he grudgingly comes to see that he’ll find it only through telling his story. With him, readers embark on a journey back through the life he’s led as a northern Ojibway, with all its joys and sorrows.
With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he’s sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement."
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"When your innocence is stripped from you, when your people are denigrated, when the family you came from is denounced and your tribal ways and rituals are pronounced backward, primitive, savage, you come to see yourself as less than human. That is hell on earth, that sense of unworthiness. That's what they inflicted on us."
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Richard Wagamese Speech UBC
A very interesting a moving talk by Richard Wagamese about his novel, Indian Horse.
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