Indian Horse

Indian Horse

Book - 2012
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Saul Indian Horse, having hit rock bottom in a treatment centre for alcohol addiction, wants peace. He sees the only way to find it is to tell his life story as a Northern Ojibway with all its joys and sorrows. As he journeys back he comes to recognize the influence of everyday magic on his life.
Publisher: Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, c2012.
ISBN: 9781553654025
Branch Call Number: FIC Wagam
Characteristics: 220 pages


From Library Staff

Fiction/Historical. Award winner. Adapted in to movie. Talking points: cultural genocide, tradition vs. modernity, transcending tragedy, racism, the symbol of the horse, the history of the Ojibway people in Canada.

List - Canada Reads 2013
OPLReads Jan 21, 2013

Saul Indian Horse is dying. Tucked away in a hospice high above the clash and clang of a big city, he embarks on a marvellous journey of imagination back through the life he led as a northern Ojibway, with all its sorrows and joys. With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces throu... Read More »

*wildcard pick

smc01 May 13, 2013

This is the best book I have read in some time. Wagamese is so eloquent - there is not one wasted word in this book. His descriptions of the game of hockey are simply amazing. His descriptions of life in the Indian residential schools are spare, honest and heartbreaking without being overdone.... Read More »

From the critics

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Jul 27, 2020

Wagamese is the master of describing landscapes, but the overall story is just as well-crafted, albeit sad and touching. I definitely recommend it.

Jun 11, 2020

I thought this book was a good read. It emphasizes an important part of our Canadian history. While reading, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions alongside the main character, Saul, as he is removed away from his family at a young age and is forced into the residential school system. I felt like I was there along with Saul while he was growing, learning, and suffering trauma. The story is told as flashbacks making it entertaining to read. Although it is simple to read, the subject matter is not easy to handle. Indian Horse includes topics regarding racism and abuse; therefore, I suggest it for older kids, teens, and adults. Anyone who wants to learn more about the importance of Indigenous culture to Canadain society should read this book. I recommend Indian Horse to people who are looking for a book about struggle, conflict, and someone ready to read about the truth. 4/5 stars.
@CookieMonster of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Mar 23, 2020

This story follows an indigenous boy named Saul Indian Horse and his experiences in residential school. This story is a harsh reality of what indigenous children faced back when residential schools were popular. There are mature themes and there were many parts that were too disturbing to read. Even though at times this was a difficult book to read, it is an honest reminder that Canada hasn't had the best past and we need to maintain a better relationship with our indigenous people to make sure that history doesn't repeat itself.

Jan 05, 2020

Excellent book

Dec 29, 2019

I love Richard Wagamese, and this book was no disappointment. A story of a young boy in residential schools, who turns to hockey.

Sep 20, 2019

This book was a different look into the residential schools in Canada then I have ever read. Using hockey which the narrator comes to love his life comes into focus. This story although heart breaking leaves you with a wonderful feeling of hope. For me the novel is another one that I can story as giving me a glimpse into a world my grandmother shielded me from. It was a story I will never forget. This really is a must read.

Aug 27, 2019

Great book, especially for those that enjoy the game of hockey. However, you don't have to like hockey to like this book. Follows Saul's journey of trying to find peace.

Aug 15, 2019

This book enveloped me in the story, the boy & his becoming a young man, his Native natural culture & the environments, particularly the outdoors. I was eager to get back to it each day.

Apr 07, 2019

This book was very interesting, as it explained much about the residential schools. I really enjoyed the story, even though I'm not much interested in hockey, but it was a theme throughout & it was a well-written story. Mr. Wagameese was a very good writer & will be missed.

JessicaGma Mar 27, 2019

It is a beautiful and sad story that makes the residential school experience come alive.

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Mar 12, 2017

I understood then that when you miss a thing it leaves a hole that only the thing you miss can fill.

Feb 13, 2013

"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."

Feb 13, 2013

"We need mystery,...Creator in her wisdon knew this. Mystery fills us with awe and wonder. They are the foundations of humility, and humility, grandson, is the foundation of all learning."

Age Suitability

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Dec 25, 2019

Ravindersidhu thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Aboriginals_Autochtones Jan 14, 2013

Aboriginals_Autochtones thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Aboriginals_Autochtones Jan 14, 2013

From D&M publishers:

"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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