In this day and age, not many Canadians, know about their history. All over North America, native children would be taken from their homes and sent to school specifically for what the caucasian population perceived to be savages. These schools taught young native children to adapt to the Caucasian ways and forget their native history. Children would be repeatedly abused and punished for simple things as speaking their native tongue. In this amazing novel, written by a Canadian Ojibway Richard Wagamese, you get to experience first hand what goes on in those schools and how a native boy grew up. The novel is written in the point of view of Saul, a young native boy growing up in Northern Ontario, while he attends St. Jerome's Indian Residential School in the 1960's. Not only does Wagamese portray the Residential Schools for what they really are, but makes the story an inspiring one. Young Saul finds hope and passion in the form of the sport of Hockey. Throughout the novel, you join Saul as he plays on a team with the other Native boys, displaying a great skill only he seems to have. Even though he is said to be small for a native, even for the Caucasian kids, Saul gets scouted for a more advance hockey team, one only made up of white men, until Saul says yes and joins the team. He goes through even more hardship, having to deal with the racism of the Caucasian people, but in the end makes it through.
Being a Canadian, I say that this novel should be read in every school across the country. It is one that tells us of the horrors in our history but also shows us that we can find hope anywhere, even in a game of Hockey. I first read this in my creative writing class, seeing as my teacher was an aboriginal, or more commonly know as Native American, she thought it was important to show us a part of her history, seeing as her father had suffered a similar fate to the one told in Indian Horse, but also show us what we could convey through the task of writing. This story is written so well that you can feel every emotion Saul feels and picture yourself being him, going through all those hardships. For me, this was an amazing novel and a definitive re-read in the future. 5 out 5 stars.