Indian Horse Questions
1. In chapter Thirteen, Saul describes a situation involving a small creek near the school. How does he describe the students’ interaction with the fish from the creek? Why is this episode so upsetting to them? What are the fish symbolic of?
2. Saul sees the school as a constant force on the students. What does he see as the only way to stop the harm being done to the students? Also, how does Saul manage to survive the school and come away alive?
3. Father Leboutiler represents something different in the school. How is he different than anyone else Saul has encountered? Why do you suppose Father Leboutilier treats Saul and the others in this way?
4. How does Saul explain his ability to understand hockey so easily? Do you think this hockey talent is equal to the abilities of the person who gave him his talent?
5. As Saul continues to practice and play hockey by himself, he remember and old piece of advice from his grandmother. What is the advice she gives him and how does he apply it to the hockey?
6. How does Saul get his chance to get on to the ice with the other boys? When he is given the chance, what pieces of equipment does he gather before stepping on to the ice?
7. Saul describes the moment before the puck “Squirts loose” and he scores. What happens to him in the moment? How does he have this ability?
8. How does Father Quinney explain Saul’s talent for hockey? How do you feel about Quinney’s explanation versus where Saul actually acquired the ability? Please explain how you feel in detail.
9. At the end of chapter nineteen, Saul remembers his past. What are the theories he has of his family and what does he use to cope with the loss of them?
10. How does Saul do in his first organized hockey game? How does Father Leboutilier react to his performance? Chapter 20 ends with him confessing something. What is it?
1. Saul finally sees the iron sister in the basement of the school. When he asks Father leboutilier about why the school keeps it, what does the Father say? In what way is Father Leboutilier different than the other priests and nuns?
2. When does Angeline Lynx leg say to Saul about the abuse she suffers at the school? Why could he remark be considered ironic? It might help to look up the word ironic!
3. As summer comes, and the winter hockey rink melts away, Saul takes on a new activity and connects with something he has not connected with for a long time. What does he connect with? Describe it please!
4. As chapter 22 ends, Saul feels a certain amount of happiness at St. Jerome’s due to the game of hockey. But not everyone at the school feels happy. Using your “Forms of Privilege” information show how Saul has begun to use social class to his advantage.
5. What does it take for Father Quinney to allow Saul to play on the town’s midget team? What does Saul feel is expected of him when he plays for his team?
6. After playing very well for the midget team, Saul is told he is not able to play anymore. What is the reason he is given for not being able to play? As Saul asks, “Where’s God now?” of father Leboutilier, why is the father unable to answer him?
7. When Fred Kelly approaches Saul about joining his team, what do you notice as being different about his team than any of the other teams? Why is it important for Saul to Join Fred’s team?
8. What is Saul’s ticket out of St. Jerome’s? In what way is Saul privileged to be able to leave his fellow students behind for a life of hockey? How are these “Hockey playing “ values present in today’s society?
9. As Saul sits in the hockey rink shack in Fred’s back yard after the game, he describes the atmosphere. How does Saul feel in the Shack? Give two reasons why he feels this way.
10. Why does Erwin Ear describe Saul as a “bag of antlers”? What does he mean by this remark?
1. At a certain point when Saul is playing for the Moose and becomes their star player, father Leboutilier comes to a practice to visit him. Why does the Father care for Saul more than he cares about the other students of St. Jerome’s and why does Saul miss him so much? Please give your opinion.
2. As the Moose prepare to face the team from kapuskasing, Saul tells Virgil about how the team has changed. How and why do the team change in the face of this game?
3. Before the game with Kapuskasing, the Moose find themselves disadvantaged in a number of ways. Please list three ways the Moose are at a disadvantaged before the game begins.
4. As Moose continue to play the hockey teams along the Trans-Canada highway, they continue to experience hostility from the teams they face. Please describe two things that happen to them as they continue their hockey tour.
5. Eventually, in the town of Devon, the Moose face a situation that can only be seen as brutal. What happens in this town and how do the Moose handle it? Please be detailed.
6. As Virgil explains to Saul what happened behind the diner, he talks about the most disturbing aspect of the whole situation. What does he find the most disturbing?
7. As chapter 37 ends, Saul notes that white people think they own the game of Hockey, and the world for that matter. Has Canada changed since then? Or is it still owned by the white people who settled here in the 1800’s?
8. As this point in the novel, it is clear that the Moose, and all other First Nations people, have and will continue to suffer racism from the white communities around them. They get no protection from the police, nor from any concerned citizens. In your opinion, how should Saul proceed? Should he continue to playing hockey, or head back to the mill and mining town and work? Please give reasons for your answer.
1. Despite the constant insults and hostility from both the fans and the teams they play, the Moose continue to travel and play hockey. Why do you suppose they choose to continue? What do you think is the smartest thing for them to do? Continue or stop? Why?
2. As the Moose continue to win, the teams their opponents finally come up with a way to stop Saul. How do they stop him and why is it so easy for them to act this way?
3. At one of the games, Saul comes face to face with a fan that supports the other team. Why is this fan’s behavior so shocking and how is it indicative of most white people’s feelings toward First Nations people?
4. When Jack Lanaham approaches Saul about the possibility of playing in the NHL, Saul tires to reject him by saying something about the nature of hockey. What does he say and do you believe it’s true?
5. Eventually, after Saul makes no move to go the Toronto Marlboros, some other Moose surround him and give him the two reasons he has to go. Who surrounds him and what reasons do they give him for having to go?
6. As Saul gets ready to leave for Toronto, he is forced to reflect on his time in Manitouwadge. He mentions Benjamin, and Virgil talks about the effect of the school on his mother and father. Do you think the school has been “rubbed” off of Saul, or is the school still there?
7. Saul is about to face the world alone again, completely on his own in Toronto. Have you ever had a moment in which you has to face a struggle alone? Please describe it and how you fared. You must answer this question! If you have never had a situation like this, make it up!
8. When Saul arrives at st. jerome’s Indian residential school, he is forced to undergo a process of cleansing. What does this process entail?
9. After sister Ignacia renames Lonnie, they have a disagreement. What do they disagree about and how does sister Ignacia handle their disagreement?
10. What is Curtis White Fox’s punishment and what did he do to deserve it?
11. Incredible hardships can lead to increadible coping skills. What skill do the children develop to keep their Ojibway language?
1. Chapter 37 begins with Saul describes Toronto as being a chimera. What is a Chimera and why does Saul think Toronto is like one?
2. When Saul arrives at the home of his billets, Patrick tells him about all the first nations’ hockey players who have paved the way for him. Is Patrick right about what Saul’s experience will be like? Or is Saul’s experience with the Marlboros different?
3. When the press discussed Saul in the news, they used different phrases than the ones they used for other players. Give one example of a phrase they used and why it is offensive.
4. As Saul continues with the Marlboros, he experiences a “the end of any semblance of joy in the game”. How does this moment come about? Please give two details that lead up to it.
5. In chapter thirty-nine, Saul shoots pucks in the barn as Rebecca mourns the loss of her sister and commits suicide. Saul escapes the school alive, unlike Rebecca. Hockey keeps him a live, but what has hockey done to him when he leaves Toronto? How does he feel?
6. When Saul is tested by his lumberjack co-workers, he reacts by doing something he has done before. What is the similarity between the way he reacts to the lumberjacks and the way he reacts to the last team he plays against in Toronto?
7. After work camp, Saul eventually makes the decision to leave Manitouwadge and make it on his own as a working man. What does Virgil say Saul is doing? When you look back at the book, where else do you see similar behavior from Saul?
8. What is it that eventually leads Saul to alcohol addiction? What aspect of this is similar to other ways he has coped with difficulty in his life?
9. In your opinion, why does Ervin sift help Saul? Where does he feel Saul comes from and where does he think he is going?
10. Eventually, Saul leaves Ervin’s house and moves on. Why does he continue to feel an intense motivation to keep moving and never stay in one place for very long?
11. Many people in today’s society buy a house, get a job and live in one place for a very long time; usually their whole lives. In your opinion, which is better, staying in one place for a whole lifetime, or being I different places all the time. Why? Please show your opinion!
1. At the beginning of chapter 47, Saul speaks of what being an alcoholic is like. What does his description remind you of from earlier in the book when Saul was at St. Jerome’? Do you think he feels imprisoned this way?
2. When Shabogeesick reappear before Saul, he shows Saul something for many years before. Why does Saul need to see his vision before he can go on his Journey of healing himself?
3. As Saul looks at the rink, which has now been reclaimed by nature, he begins to remember some of his life at St. Jerome’s. In specific, he, he remembers his relationship with Father Leboutillier. How has Saul been able to live for so many years without fully realizing what happened to him?
4. Saul returns to God’s lake and is visited by his family. Why is returning to this area so important for him to move forward with his life?
5. As Saul continues to reflect on his relationship with Father Leboutillier, he says that hockey was responsible for his emotional and mental survival. Earlier, Saul’s ability to play hockey was seen as a privilege, however, things can be seen differently now. At what cost was Saul able to play hockey at St. Jerome’s?
6. As Saul considers his role in the game of hockey, he comes up with something for himself. What does he decide to and why?
7. When Virgil hears all about Saul’s experience, he says he’d wish for: “Five minutes alone in a room with each of them”. Do you think Virgil’s way of handling the pain is better or worse than Saul’s plan? Which plan would you choose?
8. Near the end of the book, Saul laughs for the first time in a long time. What makes his laugh this way and why is it important for him to have this emotion?
9. The book has come to an end and Saul’s Journey seems mostly complete. Looking back at the book, take some time to reflect on the part o the book you liked the most and the part you liked the least. Please write one paragraph for each of them.
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