Indian Horse (Paperback)
Set in 1960s Canada, Indian Horse tells the story of an Ojibway child who loses his family and ends up in a horrific boarding school which aims to “take the indian out” of him. While many children succomb to punishment or disease, Saul survives because he is introduced to hockey by a young priest. The picture of determination, he trains himself to be the best possible player, rising to the level of professional, only to be ground down by racism. This beautifully written coming-of-age novel is often heart-breaking, yet untimately hopeful. Indian Horse was a competing title for Cananda Reads for 2013 and won the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature in 2013. Highly recommended.— Karen
Saul Indian Horse is a child when his family retreats into the woods. Among the lakes and the cedars, they attempt to reconnect with half-forgotten traditions and hide from the authorities who have been kidnapping Ojibway youth. But when winter approaches, Saul loses everything: his brother, his parents, his beloved grandmother--and then his home itself. Alone in the world and placed in a horrific boarding school, Saul is surrounded by violence and cruelty. At the urging of a priest, he finds a tentative salvation in hockey. Rising at dawn to practice alone, Saul proves determined and undeniably gifted. His intuition and vision are unmatched. His speed is remarkable. Together they open doors for him: away from the school, into an all-Ojibway amateur circuit, and finally within grasp of a professional career. Yet as Saul's victories mount, so do the indignities and the taunts, the racism and the hatred--the harshness of a world that will never welcome him, tied inexorably to the sport he loves. Spare and compact yet undeniably rich, Indian Horse is at once a heartbreaking account of a dark chapter in our history and a moving coming-of-age story.
About the Author
Richard Wagamese (1955-2017) was one of Canada's foremost writers, and one of the leading indigenous writers in North America. He was the author of several acclaimed memoirs and more than a dozen novels. He won numerous awards and honors for his writing, including the People's Choice winner of the national Canada Reads competition in 2013, for Indian Horse.